Attorney wants access to more witness information in 20-year old murder case
June 19, 2007
A Tuesday trial-setting hearing for accused murderer Ulysses Roberson contained less mention of a trial and more squabbling over witness contact information.
Monica Lynch, who was given the case when Roberson requested a different attorney, said she wanted information on how to call a handful of crucial witnesses. Lynch grumbled to El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Kingsbury the district attorney’s office was stymieing her efforts.
“I’m just trying to get my job done and I can’t,” Lynch said.
Roberson is charged with murdering his 4-year-old son in a Tahoe Keys home more than 20 years ago. Although the body of Alexander Olive has not been found, prosecutors believe they have enough circumstantial evidence to convict Roberson on a murder charge.
Authorities say Roberson used astrology to lure women into a clan-like atmosphere where he was the head figure. Alexander’s mother, Rosemary Olive, spent most of her time working in San Francisco as a nurse. Her jaw was broken by Roberson when he beat her after she inquired about her son soon after his disappearance, authorities said.
Instead of a mound of evidence, attorneys are dealing mountains of discovery consisting of thousands of pages of reports and other documents. Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said he expects to call 50 to 60 witnesses, from as close as the South Lake Tahoe Police Department to those in Eastern time zones.
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Lynch said she needs to review all the evidence and speak to witnesses before she decides whether to pursue a settlement or trial.
Among the items Lynch said needed attention was whether Uthe could obtain photos a South Lake Tahoe officer took of Alexander in October 2005 which likely contained evidence of bruises.
“To me, it’s a critical piece of evidence in this case,” Lynch said.
In addition, Lynch called for a numbering system — called a Bates stamp in legalese — for a few hundred pages of documents to help attorneys and court staff locate them during the possible trial.
Uthe said he would get to Lynch’s requests and asked for, and received, a telephone conference with Lynch in front of Kingsbury for next Monday.
Kingsbury, who has presided over most of Roberson’s hearings, was also anxious for the wheels of justice to move a bit quicker.
“I would like to keep things moving along,” she said.