Roberts Trial Underway - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/10/03

Roberts Trial Underway

Roberts in court today. Roberts in court today.

The murder trial of Tyree Roberts is finally underway after the court swore in 12 jurors and two alternates this morning. Roberts is charged with killing Beaufort County sheriff's deputies LCpl. Dana Tate and Cpl. AJ Coursen in January of 2002. Today, at the Beaufort County Courthouse, the judge and jury heard opening arguments in the case.

Roberts is representing himself in this capitol murder trial. In his opening statements, Roberts, also known as Abdiyyah ben Alkebulanyahh, told the jury he plans on proving his innocence. In fact, Roberts also said he can prove that the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office planted evidence to blame him for the murders.

He also claims there was no domestic dispute at his home on Riley Road the day of the shootings, therefore no reason for the officers to respond and come into the home.

After opening statements, the prosecution kicked off its case with a number of Beaufort County Sheriff Deputies, including Capt. Richard Roper, who was the first commanding officer to arrive on the scene, where he found the rifle casings and the two officers, Tate and Coursen, shot to death in the mobile home.

The jury will be sequestered throughout this trial. In fact, the judge stated today that the trial will continue throughout the weekend. They're expecting it to take two to three weeks to wrap up.

Roberts had submitted motions to have some of the evidence against him suppressed, but the judge did denied those today.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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