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Death Penalty Trial Set for Demetrius Ulysses Roberson in 2016 KY Murder of Lexus Bell
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Thread: Death Penalty Trial Set for Demetrius Ulysses Roberson in 2016 KY Murder of Lexus Bell

  1. #1
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Death Penalty Trial Set for Demetrius Ulysses Roberson in 2016 KY Murder of Lexus Bell


    Lexus Bell




    April 25, 2018

    Suspect pleads guilty in murder of slain Russellville mother

    By Sean Baute
    WBKO News

    RUSSELLVILLE, Kentucky (WBKO) -- According to the Russellville Police Department, one person pleaded guilty in the 2016 murder of 21-year-old Lexus Bell.

    Police say Bell was killed during an attempted robbery while holding her infant son.

    Over a year and half later, two people have entered guilty pleas, another could face the death penalty, and more arrests could come.

    Reba Kirk was in Logan County Circuit Court Tuesday, and although the clerk's office could not confirm, according to the Russellville Police Department, she pleaded guilty to murder charges and could face up to 20 years in jail.

    The family of Lexus Bell is still searching for answers and asks anyone with information to come forward.

    "Lexus's family was in court with us yesterday," said Detective Kenneth Edmonds of the Russellville Police Department. "They're the ones who The Commonwealth was in contact with to see if they were satisfied about the charges and would they accept the charges."

    Also happening Tuesday, murder charges against Khalin Sparks in the case were dropped after Reba Kirk testified in open court that he was not there.

    "After Mr. Sparks was indicted," explained Det. Edmonds, "and I was able to talk to him, it became clear that he did have alibis, work schedules, and other people that could vouch for him."

    Sparks had been indicted on murder charges while allegedly on the run from a warrant for an unrelated crime, and Det. Edmonds says he was able to come in and clear his name of murder charges.

    "When I was able to interview him, he was very courteous and was willing to sit down with me," Edmonds added.

    Sparks is currently serving time for that unrelated warrant, and as for the murder case of Lexus Bell, it's far from over.

    "There could possibly be another arrest coming here in the next few weeks, or next few days," said Det. Edmonds, "so that's the only thing that we have ongoing."

    Demetrius Roberson, the lone not guilty plea remaining, and the man that could face the death penalty after allegedly pulling the trigger in the case may not be on trial until October 2019 according to Police.

    Roberson's defense team will prepare to keep him off of death row.

    Another person involved has pleaded guilty in the case, although to lesser charges. Jordan Lunsford will not face murder charges.

    The judge in the murder case was not in Logan Circuit Court today, so Tuesday's events inside the courtroom are not known, outside of statements from police inside.

    Reba Kirk's court documents could be available as early as tomorrow.

    http://www.wbko.com/content/news/Sus...480865871.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
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    Fifth person indicted in Russellville slaying

    By Justin Story
    Bowling Green Daily News

    A Bowling Green man accused of involvement in a 2016 shooting death in Russellville will be arraigned Thursday.

    A Logan County grand jury indicted Tayveon Michael Bibb, 20, on charges of murder and first-degree robbery.

    Bibb is charged in the Aug. 21, 2016, death of Lexus Bell, 21, of Russellville, who was shot while in her residence at Robinwood Apartments with a group of children she planned to take to a birthday party the next day.

    Bibb, who was arrested April 30, is the fifth person to have been charged in the case.

    The charges against him are based in large part on statements from a co-defendant, Reba Kirk, who identified him as one of the people who traveled with her to Bell’s apartment, according to prior testimony from Detective Kenneth Edmonds of the Russellville Police Department.

    Kirk pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and complicity to first-degree robbery. During her change of plea hearing in Logan Circuit Court, Kirk said Bibb didn’t enter the apartment but gave directions to the driver of the car after the suspects left the apartment.

    Kirk said she did not know Bibb at the time of the incident, according to Edmonds.

    Bibb’s name surfaced during the investigation as somebody who potentially knew the participants in the robbery and homicide, but Kirk was unable to identify him when Edmonds showed her a photograph of him during an interview last year, the detective said.

    Bibb was interviewed by police and denied involvement in the robbery.

    “He stated he could have possibly been with (murder suspect Demetrius Roberson) earlier in the day,” Edmonds said.

    By the time Kirk pleaded guilty, she confirmed Bibb’s identity when presented with video footage of police interviewing him, Edmonds said.

    In addition to Bibb and Kirk, three others have been charged in Bell’s death.

    Roberson, 24, is charged with murder, attempted murder, first-degree robbery and nine counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

    Authorities allege Roberson fired the shot that fatally struck Bell and also fired in the direction of another person at the apartment.

    Acting Logan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Crocker has filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Roberson, who is currently incarcerated in an unrelated case.

    Jordan Lunsford pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence and was placed on pretrial diversion for five years.

    Khalin Sparks was also charged with multiple counts, but the case against him was dismissed after law enforcement confirmed details of an alibi he gave to investigators.

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/fift...db19cf978.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    One sentenced, another facing death penalty in 2016 murder of Russellville mother

    By Sean Baute
    WBKO News

    RUSSELLVILLE, Kentucky (WBKO) -- In 2016, Lexus Bell was shot and killed during an armed robbery at her home. Almost two years later, four people are facing charges in her murder.

    On Thursday, Reba Kirk was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she admitted to orchestrating the robbery that resulted in Bell's death.

    The court heard from Lexus Bell's aunt as well as her step-father during the sentencing hearing.

    Circuit Judge Tyler Gill said Kirk had demonstrated "gangster mentality" amid discussion that dug deep into Kirk's past, growing up with less-than-reputable guardian figures.

    On Friday, the man alleged to have pulled the trigger, Demetrius Roberson, appeared in court alongside Tayveon Bibb, who was indicted on murder charges in May.

    Acting prosecutor Justin Crocker filed a motion earlier this year in which he explained he will now go after the death penalty for Roberson.

    Roberson, who has been declared indigent by the court, is being represented by the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.

    His attorney, Michael Bufkin, was asked about being prepared for trial, and said as of today, he didn't foresee any obstacles preventing them from being ready.

    "We will do everything in our power to be able to try this case on the date that the court has given, but we can't anticipate what might happen between now and then," said Bufkin.

    Russellville Police are still investigating the case, and say even almost two years later, there could still be more arrests to come.

    "My situation is just having patience, and hopefully the people that didn't come forth will come forth," said Detective Kenneth Edmonds. "It's just a waiting game."

    The trial for both Demetrius Roberson and Tayveon Bibb is scheduled for March 2019.

    The fourth person facing charges, Jordan Lunsford, has pleaded guilty to his charges for the role he played in the shooting.

    http://www.wbko.com/content/news/One...485003991.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Murder suspect has bond reduced

    By Oj Stapleton
    News Democrat Leader

    One of the suspects indicted in connection with the 2016 murder of Lexus Bell was arraigned on Thursday and had his bond significantly reduced.

    Deon Lamar Young, who turned himself in to the Logan County Detention Center on Friday, June 15, was arraigned last week and his attorney, Alan Simpson asked Circuit Judge Tyler Gill to reduce his bond at the hearing. Gill did so, changing the bond from $250,000 to $25,000. Young pleaded not guilty at the hearing.

    Young, who is facing charges of murder, first-degree robbery and 10 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, was still lodged in the Logan County Detention Center on Monday morning, despite his lower bond.

    Another suspect in the case, Tayveon Bibb, had a hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning. He is also asking for his bond to be reduced.

    Earlier this month, Reba Kirk was sentenced to 20 years for her part in the 2016 shooting death of Lexus Bell.

    Kirk, 32, had the sentence handed down last Thursday, June 7, by Logan Circuit Judge Tyler Gill. She had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and complicity to first-degree robbery as her part in the murder in April. Her 20-year sentence can be reduced, however, if information she gives authorities leads to the successful conviction of others in the case.

    Two other defendants in the trial, Demetrius Roberson and Bibb, were in court Friday, June 8, for a hearing in their cases. Roberson is facing the death penalty since he is accused of the act of killing Bell. His attorney, Michael Bufkin, told Judge Gill that he would do his best to be ready for the murder trial in March of next year, but couldn't promise he would not ask for a continuance if more time was needed to prepare Roberson's defense.

    The trial for Roberson and Bibb is set for March 9, 2019. Bibb is charged with murder and first-degree robbery.

    Two others previously indicted in the case have had their charges resolved.

    Jordan Lunsford pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence and was placed on pretrial diversion and Khalin Sparks had charges against him but were dismissed after police confirmed an alibi regarding his whereabouts during the time of the shooting.

    http://www.newsdemocratleader.com/Co...ced/-3/12/2698
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    Attorneys for three charged in Logan slaying want separate trials

    By Justin Story
    Bowling Green Daily News

    RUSSELLVILLE – The prosecutor in a case in which three men are accused of murder and other offenses in the death of a Logan County woman has requested that the men be tried together.

    Justin Crocker, acting commonwealth’s attorney for Logan and Todd counties, filed a motion to have the cases of Demetrius Roberson, Tayveon Bibb and Deon Young joined at one trial.

    Roberson, Bibb and Young are each charged with murder and first-degree robbery. The charges stem from the Aug. 21, 2016, death of Lexus Bell, 21, who was shot at her Russellville apartment.

    Crocker is seeking the death penalty for Roberson, who is accused of firing the fatal shots and has also been charged with attempted murder and nine counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

    Young is also charged with 10 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

    The men’s cases came up for review Wednesday in Logan Circuit Court. During the hearing, Crocker argued that trying the three men before the same jury would not be unfair to the defendants.

    “The commonwealth does contend that each of the defendants participated in the same series of acts that led to the charges they each have,” Crocker said.

    Attorneys for the three defendants filed objections to Crocker’s motion and elaborated on their arguments Wednesday.

    Public defender Robin Irwin, who represents Bibb, said a separate jury should weigh the evidence in his client’s case than one that would be qualified to consider the death penalty should Roberson be convicted.

    “There’s a big distinction between the allegations against Mr. Roberson and Mr. Bibb,” Irwin said, adding that evidence suggests Bibb did not have a weapon at the time of the incident and was not at the scene of the crime.

    Young’s attorney, Alan Simpson, also sought a separate trial for his client, arguing in a response to Crocker’s motion filed Tuesday that statements Bibb made to police implicating Young would not be admissible at Young’s trial.

    Bibb reportedly claimed during a police interview that he was told by Roberson that Young participated in the incident.

    “With this being Mr. Bibb’s proposed testimony, there is absolutely no reason why these cases should be tried together, as Mr. Bibb’s statements toward Mr. Young are nothing but hearsay,” Simpson said in his response.

    Logan Circuit Judge Tyler Gill said he would rule on the matter within a month.

    The cases against each man are currently set for a July 8 trial.

    Also Wednesday, Gill scheduled a Nov. 13 bond hearing for Roberson, who is serving a prison sentence for an unrelated offense.

    Roberson’s attorney, Michael Bufkin, said his client will meet with the parole board in December, and he wants to have a hearing to modify the $1 million bond set by Gill in the murder case before going up for parole.

    Gill also granted a motion by Bufkin requiring the state to provide evidence in the criminal case against Crocker’s predecessor, Gail Guiling, who is under indictment on charges of official misconduct, tampering with physical evidence and engaging in organized crime.

    Bufkin’s motion noted that Guiling was the commonwealth’s attorney at the time police were investigating Bell’s death and that the investigation overlapped in time with the events that led to Guiling’s indictment.

    Bufkin sought the evidence supporting charges against Guiling in an effort to investigate whether Guiling, who still holds the commonwealth’s attorney position but is not running for re-election, committed official misconduct while Roberson’s case has been pending.

    https://www.bgdailynews.com/news/att...19dd26fa9.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Murder suspect wants death penalty removed

    By Justin Story
    Bowling Green Daily News

    RUSSELLVILLE – The attorneys for a man suspected of killing a woman at her Russellville apartment is seeking to have the death penalty removed as a potential punishment.

    Demetrius Roberson, 24, is charged with murder, attempted murder, first-degree robbery and nine counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

    The charges stem from an Aug. 21, 2016, shooting in which Lexus Bell, 21, was killed at her apartment in front of several children, who were there in anticipation of traveling to a birthday party the next day, according to police.

    Acting Logan County Commonwealth's Attorney Justin Crocker is seeking the death penalty for Roberson, who is currently incarcerated on an unrelated robbery conviction.

    Roberson's attorneys, Michael Bufkin and Audrey Woosnam, filed three motions to exclude the death penalty on the grounds that the state's death penalty statute is unconstitutional.

    Woosnam said in one motion that the state's death penalty law was drafted based on language in the Model Penal Code, a text published in 1962 by the American Law Institute that assists state legislatures in the setting of law relating to criminal penalties.

    The death penalty statute was removed from the Model Penal Code in 2009, with members of the American Law Institute questioning the soundness of implementing capital punishment, and Woosnam argues that Kentucky's statute "is no longer consisting with evolving standards of decency" and violates Roberson's rights.

    Woosnam seeks in another motion to declare the state death penalty unconstitutional, arguing that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and noting that 20 states have abolished the death penalty.

    No one in Kentucky has been executed since 2008, and a state court judge issued an injunction in 2010 preventing the state from carrying out further executions until new protocols regulating lethal injunction as a method of execution are implemented.

    In a third motion, Woosnam argues that the death penalty violates due process rights on several grounds.

    "Several aspects of Kentucky's criminal justice system create a substantial risk of sentencing to death and ultimately executing persons for whom death is a disproportionate punishment, or even those who are completely innocent," Woosnam said in one motion.

    Defendants in capital cases also receive inadequate legal counsel, Woosnam argued. He said public defenders with high caseloads and low salaries struggle under an inadequately funded system to provide effective representation of clients in death penalty cases.

    Other factors that throw the legality of the death penalty into question include capital juries being incapable of rendering fair and impartial verdicts due to not understanding jury instructions, a lack of opportunity for convicted defendants to wage meaningful appeals and inadequate safeguards under state law to prevent the execution of mentally ill defendants, Woosnam argued.

    A hearing to address the motions has been set for Nov. 13 in Logan Circuit Court.

    Two co-defendants, Reba Kirk and Jordan Lunsford, have pleaded guilty to crimes associated with Bell's death and have been sentenced. Cases against two more co-defendants, Tayveon Bibb and Deon Young, are pending.

    https://www.bgdailynews.com/news/mur...7d49a9ed4.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Judge rejects murder suspect's bid to strike death penalty

    By Justin Story
    Bowling Green Daily News

    RUSSELLVILLE – The death penalty remains an option for a man accused in a deadly shooting in Logan County.

    Attorneys for Demetrius Roberson, 24, filed three separate motions in his case in an effort to declare the death penalty unconstitutional or eliminate it as an option at sentencing should he be convicted at trial.

    Roberson is charged with murder, attempted murder, first-degree robbery and nine counts of first-degree wanton endangerment in the Aug. 21, 2016, shooting of Lexus Bell, 21, at her Russellville apartment.

    Acting Logan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Crocker filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

    At a hearing Tuesday, Logan Circuit Judge Tyler Gill denied motions from Roberson’s defense team of attorneys Michael Bufkin and Audrey Woosnam to remove the death penalty as an option.

    The motion from Roberson’s lawyers to have the death penalty declared unconstitutional cited a number of rulings in other state supreme courts abolishing the death penalty and data from public opinion polls indicating waning support for capital punishment.

    “We are as a society on a progressive path toward a general consensus that the death penalty does violate the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment,” Woosnam said in court.

    Additional motions argued that public defenders in the state are at a disadvantage because of managing heavy caseloads while working with limited resources in understaffed offices, while prosecutors have broad discretion to seek the harshest penalty for cases that meet those standards under state law.

    Crocker argued that the motions were filed prematurely and should not be addressed unless Roberson was convicted and sentenced to death.

    He also said his office is “vastly understaffed” and facing its own financial struggles.

    “Our office is quite frankly struggling with the resources we have,” Crocker said. “I think we’re on a level playing field with the public defenders at this point.”

    Gill ruled against Roberson, saying he was bound by higher supreme court decisions to allow the death penalty to be sought in applicable cases.

    “Public opinion doesn’t come into it except as to how it might influence the legislature,” Gill said.

    A motion from Bufkin to suppress testimony from a co-defendant, Reba Kirk, was also denied.

    Kirk pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder and complicity to first-degree robbery and is serving a 20-year sentence.

    Kirk accepted a plea agreement that could see her receive a reduced sentence in exchange for her cooperation in the murder investigation and for testimony that leads to the conviction of other co-defendants.

    Bufkin argued that Kirk had a history of providing false statements in this case and asked for a hearing to determine whether Kirk would be a reliable witness.

    Gill said in his decision that a jury would be better able to determine what weight to give Kirk’s testimony.

    “Twelve citizens are better at getting the facts right than any single judge,” Gill said. “I can’t even consider interfering with the jury system.”

    Roberson, along with two co-defendants, Tayveon Bibb and Deon Young, will return to court Dec. 12.

    https://www.bgdailynews.com/news/jud...f56a73922.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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