Roberts brothers sentenced in death of Perdue

Posted September 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Roberts brothers sentenced in death of Perdue

Two local brothers who were convicted by a Clinton Circuit Court jury in June in relation to the death of another local man has been formally sentenced.

Phillip Roberts and Thomas Aaron Roberts were sentenced on August 14 by Circuit Judge David L. Williams, who followed the jury recommendation for each defendant.

Both men had originally been charged with murder and first degree burglary in relation to the death of Frank Perdue at Perdue’s home in eastern Clinton County near the Wayne County line in September of 2012.

The men were tried in Clinton Circuit Court in a week-long proceeding June 16-20.

Phillip Roberts was found guilty of first degree manslaughter with a 15-year sentence imposed. He was also found guilty of second degree burglary with a five-year sentence. Upon recommendation of the jury, the sentences were to run concurrent for a total of 15 years. A charge of persistent felony offender second degree was previously dismissed due to acquittal by the jury.

Thomas Roberts was found guilty of reckless homicide, with a five-year sentence imposed and also guilty of second degree burglary, with a 10-year sentence. The jury recommended the sentences run consecutive for a total of 15 years.

Both defendants received credit for time already served.

Perdue, age 73 at the time of his death, died of blunt force trauma and multiple stab wounds, according to a preliminary autopsy performed following the incident.

Judge Williams set aside a full week for the trial and several witnesses testified, including the defendants. Jurors were sequestered during one night of the trial and deliberated over a period of two days before reaching their verdicts in the case.

Commonwealth Attorney Jesse Stockton and Assistant Clay Hundley prosecuted the case while the Roberts brothers were represented by Beth Stanziano and the late Mark Stanziano of Somerset.

Mark Stanziano, a well-known defense attorney, was murdered just a week after the trial outside his Somerset office. Another Somerset man has been charged with murder in Stanziano’s death.