Important court dates pushed back |

Important court dates pushed back

William Ferchland

Three South Lake Tahoe defendants, including one accused of murder, had important court dates postponed as their cases continue to move slowly.

The two-day preliminary hearing of Ulysses Roberson, who is charged with the murder of his 4-year-old son in the Tahoe Keys about two decades ago, has been moved to June 2 from April 14.

Attorneys met Friday to discuss the status of the case with Judge Suzanne Kingsbury in El Dorado County Superior Court. Ken Bonham, deputy public defender, stated he still had about 1,500 pages of documents to read.

Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe was disappointed with the delay, but wanted both sides to be prepared.

“This is going to be a hardship on the family of the deceased,” Uthe said. “Some of them bought (plane) tickets.”

Joseph Simon, a family practice doctor who had his medical license suspended in January, had his preliminary hearing moved to June 3 at 9 a.m.

Simon is accused of overprescribing OxyContin and filing false medical claims to Medi-Cal. His preliminary hearing, when witnesses are brought to testify and the prosecution makes their case, was scheduled for April 7.

Meanwhile, the voluntary manslaughter trial of Rodney Sency, a former South Lake Tahoe mechanic, was pushed from May to Sept. 28 in Placerville.

Sency is accused of killing mason worker Edward Ortega with a 3-foot-long, 20-pound mallet. Sency allegedly staged a car accident using Ortega’s body and truck. Ortega worked on Sency’s house on Silver Folk Trail near Strawberry.

Sency faces 11 years in state prison. He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of failure to notify the coroner of a death and illegal movement of a body.

A grand jury charged Sency of the crimes after it conducted interviews. The continuance of the trial date was the second time it has been moved.

Both Sency and Simon are out of custody.

– E-mail William Ferchland at

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