Roberts' Trial Continues This Weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/12/03

Roberts' Trial Continues This Weekend

More details about the January 8th, 2002, murders of Deputies Tate and Coursen are coming out in court, as the prosecution continues putting their witnesses on the stand.

"I felt it is my job as the command officer to look after the aftercare of my two dead officers that were lying there on the cold floor," said Col. David Brown, of the Beaufort Sheriff's Department

According to testimony, Deputies Tate and Coursen were called to 21 Riley Road after Straaberry Washington made a 9-1-1 call stating her friend Kimberly Blake was being held against her will at the residence by her former boyfriend, Tyree Roberts.

However, the owner of the mobile home, Brenda Smith, testified Blake could go as she pleased. Smith also told the jury, when the officers came to the residence, she gave them permission to enter the home and testified Roberts was in the bedroom at the time.

"Officers when into the room and they were getting ready to open up the closet, then May ran out and I ran out, there was a lot of gunfire," said Witness Brenda Smith

The prosecution also put a number of other witnesses on the stand, each placing Roberts in the woods and marsh area near Broad River Elementary right after the murders.... up until the time when he was put into custody.

"He had a white cloth and a black gun in his left hand," said Jakelle Chaplin, another witness.

"He came upon that causeway where the marsh is and that's when I saw him crawling in the marsh," said Witness Brian Nagel.

Cecil Franklin,who testified he saw Roberts walking behind his house, also verified the gun the prosecution identified as the murder weapon, is in fact the one he saw Roberts with on January 8th.

Brian Nagel only made the case against Roberts stronger when he testified he saw the defendant running through the marsh to a near-by bridge, which is where deputies found Roberts trying to hide when they took him into custody.

"When they brought the suspect out his face was dirty and muddy but I know what I saw," continued Nagel.

Reported by, Jaime Dailey: jdailey@wtoc.com

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