Roberts brothers murder trial is set for early October

Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

The two men charged with murder in connection with the death of local resident James F. Perdue, 73, at his home last September, will be tried together on two grand jury indictment charges following action taken last week in Clinton Circuit Court.

The tentative trial date has beens set for early October.

Circuit Judge David L. Williams sustained a motion to consolidate the case and try both brothers, Phillip Roberts and Thomas Roberts at the same time.

A waiver of dual representation was also entered in open court and the Commonwealth agreed that the reciprocal discovery order will apply to all indictments against each defendant. The defendants are being represented by attorneys Bethany Catron and Bethany Stanziano.

The two men were originally charged with murder following the beating and stabbing death of Perdue that occurred at Perdue’s home on Perdue Road near the Wayne County line in eastern Clinton County in September of 2012. According to Kentucky State Police reports at the time of the incident, the victim was found dead at his residence by a friend at approximately 4:30 p.m.

After arrest warrants were issued on the two suspects, they later turned themselves in to Clinton County Sheriff Rick Riddle the following evening.

Both brothers were indicted on the murder charge, a Class B felony that carries a sentence of 10-20 years, if convicted, by a Clinton County Grand Jury last November.

Then last month, a local grand jury indicted both on first degree burglary charges in relation to the same incident. Phillip Roberts is also charged with second degree persistent felony offender.

Judge Williams made his ruling during motion hour in Circuit Court last Monday, April 1. He also set aside a two-week trial in the case, from October 1-15.

In other court proceedings last week in which some type of resolutions were reached and/or trial dates scheduled included:

* During motion hour, a plea agreement was reached in the case of Commonwealth vs. Michael Stearns. Upon a plea of guilty to possession of a controlled substance first degree, the defendant would receive a two-year sentence, pretrial diverted with supervision and agrees to enroll in and complete the Clinton County Drug Court Program if accepted. A charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed.

* During a pretrial conference, a plea agreement was reached in the case of Commonwealth vs. Jeffery Clark. Upon a plea of guilty to flagrant non-support, the defendant would receive a three-year sentence, pretrial diverted for four years with supervision and make regular child support payments plus an additional amount to make up the arrearage.

* During motion hour, on a motion by the Commonwealth to revoke pretrial diversion in the case of Billy Kennedy, charged with theft by unlawful taking over $300 and second degree burglary, the defendant stipulated as to having violated the terms of the diversion by being terminated from Drug Court.

The court took the matter under advisement as to whether the pretrial diversion is to be revoked and continued the matter until May 20.

* During a review, in the case of Commonwealth vs. Charlie K. York, charged with second degree burglary, first degree criminal mischief and two counts of second degree persistent felony offender, the court granted the motion for shock probation for a period of five years on the condition he enter and complete an in-patient rehabilitation treatment center.

* During a pretrial conference in the case of Commonwealth vs. Joseph Coop, charged with second degree escape, the court declined to remand the case to District Court at this time and set a sentencing date in a Cumberland County case for April 15.

* During a pretrial conference in the case of Commonwealth vs. David Joe Johnson, charged with first degree wanton endangerment and several other traffic related charges, a new trial date was scheduled for August 15 and if the defendant makes a $25,000 surety bond, would be placed on home incarceration and allowed work release. A pretrial conference was also scheduled for August 5.

*During motion hour, in the case of Commonwealth vs. Jonathon A. Stuber, charged with manufacturing methamphetamine first offense, possession of a controlled substance first degree, first offense and possession of a meth precursor, a new trial date was scheduled for June 26.

Other cases were on the docket last week with some being continued for various reasons.