Long-delayed Roberson trial hits another glitch
An oft-postponed trial was delayed again during a hearing in El Dorado Superior Court on Thursday, as the attorney for former South Lake Tahoe resident and accused murderer Ulysses Roberson requested more time due to the illness of a defense investigator.
“I regret to inform the court that I will not be ready to go to trial this spring,” said Roberson’s attorney, Monica Lynch.
The defense is unable to contact a defense investigator who recently was diagnosed with lung cancer, Lynch said.
Contact will need to be re-established with the existing investigator, or a new investigator for the defense will need to be retained before the trial can proceed, Lynch said.
“I’m not dragging my feet on this, it’s just difficult to find an investigator willing to take on a case of this magnitude,” Lynch said.
Roberson was charged in 2001 with killing his 4-year-old son, Alexander Olive, in their Tahoe Keys home in late 1985 or early 1986.
Authorities believe Olive is dead, but his body has not been found.
The delay is the latest twist in a case that has experienced a wide range of obstacles throughout its history, including a change of defense attorneys.
“I would like to see this case go to trial before I retire,” said Judge Suzanne Kingsbury.
During Thursday’s hearing, Lynch hinted that she may make a motion to dismiss the case because of the delays, while also noting Roberson has had a heart attack within the past couple of months.
Also Thursday, Kingsbury discussed possible venues for the trial other than South Lake Tahoe, citing Roberson’s concern about media coverage and a potentially biased jury.
Although a venue for the trial has not yet been decided upon, Placerville and Sacramento County are two of the locations that were discussed by Kingsbury on Thursday.
The court also may explore other locations, she said.
Kingsbury instructed Lynch to make efforts to resolve the issue with the investigator and scheduled another hearing on the case for Dec. 20.