D.A. Bragg Announces Indictment of Larry Atkinson for 1994 Murder of Mother and Daughter

February 9, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the indictment of LARRY ATKINSON, 64, for strangling 57-year-old Sarah Roberts, who suffered from emphysema, and her 26-year-old daughter Sharon, who was disabled, in their Morningside Heights apartment in February 1994. Additional DNA testing performed last year led to ATKINSON’s arrest in January. He is charged in a New York Supreme Court indictment with two counts of Murder in the Second Degree.[1]

“As science advances, so does our ability to solve cold cases,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Here, new technology led to an indictment alleging the horrific murders of a mother and daughter dating back nearly 30 years. Alongside our partners at OCME and the NYPD, we remain steadfast in pursuing justice for New Yorkers, no matter how long it takes.”
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, on the evening of February 20, 1994, a home attendant – who was dating ATKINSON at the time – entered the Roberts’ apartment in NYCHA’s Grant Houses and discovered both women dead. Sharon was found with the tube from her mother’s oxygen tank and a pair of leggings tied around her neck. The Office of the Medical Examiner (“OCME”) later determined that both victims were killed by ligature strangulation.
In 2022, using technology unavailable at the time of the women’s deaths, OCME conducted additional testing on samples collected in 1994, leading to Atkinson’s arrest. 
Assistant D.A. Brian Rodkey is handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Coleen Balbert (Deputy Chief of the Forensic Sciences Unit) and Melissa Mourges (Chief of the Forensic Sciences Unit) and Executive Assistant D.A. Lisa DelPizzo (Chief of the Trial Division). Assistant D.A.s Harrison Schweiloch (Deputy Chief of Trial Bureau 60) and Charles Whitt (Chief of Trial Bureau 60) are assisting, as is DNA Specialist Christopher Kamnik.
District Attorney Bragg thanked OCME, as well as NYPD Detective Ryan Glas.

Defendant Information:
Larry Atkinson
New York, NY

  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-I felony, two counts

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.