Cold case solved after 11 years

December 28, 2008 11:15:30 AM PST
Police say it's case closed almost 11 years to the day after a brutal Christmas killing. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Javier Solis is sitting in jail, accused of killing a north Houston man back in 1997. And now, we're hearing from a woman who sprang into action moments after those shots were fired, trying to save her neighbor.

The Christmas Day murder of Roger Stobaugh 11 years ago forever changed the life of a woman he barely knew. Christine Maxwell, his next door neighbor, was 15 years old at the time. The killing not only affected her personally. It influenced her career path.

Maxwell is now in the business of helping people.

"It's a thrill," she said. "Just knowing what you are doing to help someone."

It's a career choice that was shaped by that crime more than a decade ago. The traumatic event not only changed her life. It also changed the way she thought about people.

"We heard a little arguing and then it sounded like a firecracker and we didn't think anything of it," said Maxwell.

She would soon learn that her neighbor, Roger Stobaugh, had been shot and left for dead after he interrupted a burglary at his home in northeast Houston. Solis, the suspected triggerman, was nowhere to be found. Maxwell sprung into action.

"I tried to start CPR on him," she said. "I taught the neighbor behind me and his brother to do CPR on him.

"I had to hold my stomach a few times, but that's just me. I've always been the calm one in this situation. I saw it through and afterwards think about it."

While Maxwell never thought about a career in EMS, coincidentally, she had just taken a CPR class for babysitting. The murder of Stobaugh, her next door neighbor, changed everything.

"It just made me want to be a paramedic," she said. "From that day forward, I knew that this is what I wanted to do."

News of Solis' arrest Friday morning, 11 years after the killing, has given Maxwell closure.

"Not knowing the whole situation, how it happened always lingers in the back of your mind," she said.

And it renewed her sense of appreciation for life and how easily it can be taken away.

Police arrested Solis Friday morning without incident. A tip led authorities to a home in Rosenberg. Solis has since been charged with capital murder.

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