No trial date set in Roberson murder case
August 14, 2008
During a brief hearing Thursday, the attorney for accused killer Ulysses Roberson said progress is being made in the nearly 7-year-old case.
“We are being very diligent,” Defense Attorney Monica Lynch told the court by phone. “We are not dragging our feet.”
Roberson is accused in El Dorado County Superior Court of murdering his 4-year-old son, Alexander Olive, who disappeared in 1985.
The murder charge was filed against Roberson in October 2001, but the case has encountered numerous delays.
Despite the indications of progress, the Roseville-based attorney said she is “not ready to go to trial or even set a trial date.”
The primary reason, Lynch said, is that more time is needed to review the thousands of documents and potential pieces of evidence in the case.
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“Every time we go up there, we see something new,” Lynch said.
The defense attorney used the example of a diary which recently was found after a two-year search. The diary contains hundreds of pages in need of review, Lynch said.
Deputy District Attorney Trish Kelliher argued potential evidence in the case always has been available to Roberson’s defense attorneys.
Judge Suzanne Kingsbury encouraged both sides to continue preparations, so a trial date could possibly be set at the next hearing, scheduled for Aug. 29.
During Thursday’s hearing, Lynch said it is “extremely likely” she would draft a motion to dismiss the case, saying there is a “multitude of prejudice.”
Lynch also said she likely would file for a change of venue motion in the case, even though she is unsure how “fruitful” it would be.
The defense attorney had requested $14,000 for a survey of potential jurors to determine if a fair and impartial jury could be obtained in South Lake Tahoe because of the “significant amount” of “extremely prejudicial” publicity surrounding the case, according to court documents.
In January, El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Daniel Proud approved $1,000 for such a survey, an amount considered insufficient by Lynch, according to court documents.
Details of the potential change-of-venue motion and the motion to dismiss the case were not immediately available Thursday.
After arguments by the attorneys, Roberson addressed the court via telephone and told Kingsbury that he was having difficulty receiving treatment for two or three broken teeth sustained while in custody at El Dorado County Jail in Placerville.
The 58-year-old man told the judge that he had documentation about the condition of his teeth.
Kingsbury told Roberson to send the written materials to the court, and efforts would be made to help him with his teeth.