Defense Begins in Roberts Trial - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/16/03

Defense Begins in Roberts Trial

Former South Carolina attorney general Charlie Condon. Former South Carolina attorney general Charlie Condon.

Tyree Roberts is charged with killing LCpl. Dana Tate and Cpl. AJ Coursen of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department in 2002. Yesterday, the prosecution wrapped up its case. While defending himself in this capitol murder trial, Roberts, also known as Abdiyyah ben Alkebulanyahh, put a number of witnesses on the stand today, many of whom had little or nothing to do with this case or the investigation.

"I've listened to a lot of testimony that is frustrating, because I don't see that it's helping him or me or anyone else," said South Carolina solicitor Randolph Murdaugh. "It's just stalling this trial."

In fact, Solicitor Murdaugh says he's noticed throughout this trial that Roberts has continued to change his defense. "It appears his defense is that, 'I didn't do it,' then it was self-defense or either someone else did it."

As one of his subpoenaed witnesses, Roberts called former South Carolina attorney general Charlie Condon to the stand. Through questioning the witness, Roberts implied Deputies Tate and Coursen did not have any right to enter 21 Riley Road, where they were called for a domestic dispute.

But Condon didn't exactly help Roberts' case, stating that if an officer is given permission, he may enter the residence. In earlier testimony, the owner of the home, Brenda Smith, she said she gave Deputies Tate and Coursen permission to enter the home.

The trial continues tomorrow.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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