Bond Set for Man Accused in Deputy Slayings - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/04/03

Bond Set for Man Accused in Deputy Slayings

Roberts in a prior court appearance. Roberts in a prior court appearance.

The man accused of killing two Beaufort County deputies could soon be out on the streets. That's after a judge recently set a $350,000 bond for Tyree Roberts. Most people we talked with are outraged over this, not to mention one of the victims' family, who says this is a slap in the face.

"I though I was going to pass out. It was absolutely outrageous," said widow DJ Coursen. "He killed my husband. My husband's life is worth more than a $175,000."

Roberts is charged with killing 43-year-old Lance Corporal Dana Tate and 35-year-old Corporal Dyke AJ Coursen on January 8, 2002, when the two Beaufort County sheriff's deputies were responding to a domestic violence call. DJ Coursen is worried because Roberts could be out on the streets until his trial date in October.

"I lost the most precious thing to me and now I'm worried for everyone else," Coursen said. "Someone else will die. Innocent people will get hurt again, that's my fear."

It's a fear that's intensified now that he faces the death penalty. As Coursen put it, "If he gets out, what does he have to loose? He has nothing to loose at this point."

This $350,000 bond also has the community outraged.

"You take two lives, you deserve your life," said local resident Shirley Singleton.

"He shouldn't be allowed out at all," added neighbor Mary Venning. "It shouldn't even be a price."

A judge has declared Roberts mentally competent to stand trial. That court date is set for October 6.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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