Tyree Roberts has been sentenced die for killing Beaufort County deputies Dana Tate and AJ Coursen in 2002. It's a sentence assistant solicitor Duffie Stone says is appropriate for the crime. "Here's a guy who's been a violent offender," he said. "When he was in prison, he was a problem for all the corrections officers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina. Then he commits this heinous crime. I can't image if the death penalty is appropriate in South Carolina how this could not be the exact reason the death penalty exists."
Although Roberts hasn't appealed yet, he has ten days from his sentencing date to do so, and prosecutors expect he'll take advantage of that. "I expect him to go through the process," said Stone. "I expect him to get the due process of law, which he is entitled to. I do not expect it to be overturned. It was tried very clearly."
If Roberts does appeal, it could take years before his sentence is carried out. In a normal case, when all the appeals are exhausted, the defendant has the right to file what's called a post-conviction relief action. "The post-conviction relief action is basically saying that your lawyer was ineffective, but in this case he doesn't have a lawyer, so that should shorten this a little," explained Stone.
However, Stone says he expects the execution to take place in about eight years. Roberts has until November 1 to decide whether or not to appeal his sentence.