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UPDATE: Man Pleads Not Guilty in Connection with Father's Murder

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 11/4/13 @ 4:35 p.m.
ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A man has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection with the murder of his father.

Paul J. Roberts, 41, was in court in Athens County Monday.

He is charged with aggravated murder, murder, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, intimidation of an attorney, victim or witness in a criminal case, grand theft of a vehicle, theft, theft of an elderly person or disabled adult, and vandalism.

Paul J. also pleaded not guilty to prohibited acts involving certificates of title, in an unrelated case.

Paul J. is accused of murdering his father, Paul E. Roberts, 63, and putting his body in a well under the porch of his father's home on Locust Street in Glouster.

The elder Roberts' body was found last month.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says evidence points to Paul J. killing his father in his sleep.

A preliminary autopsy report ruled the Paul E. died from blunt force trauma, but at this time, investigators have not released a murder weapon.

Paul J. is also accused of stealing his father's Jeep Liberty, John Deere riding lawnmower and credit card.

In a release Monday, Blackburn said, "The State was ready to proceed with sentencing today on Robert's other four cases, but the Defendant wanted more time. The State requested that a bond of $1 million dollars be set but the Court set the bond at $950,000 for both cases. The State will oppose on the four old cases and will request that Paul J. Roberts be sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison. On the new indictments, Roberts is facing Life in Prison without parole."

Two other people have been charged in connection with the case.

Christopher Bishop, 37, of Murray City, Ohio pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property, and one count of obstructing official business. Investigators say Bishop bought a motorcycle from Paul J. that belonged to Paul E.

Ronda Degarmore, 37, of Glouster, is charged with theft, receiving stolen property and obstructing justice.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 10/29/13 @ 10:10 p.m.
ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A man and a woman linked to a man accused of killing his father pleaded guilty Tuesday to property crimes involving a motorcycle owned by the deceased man.

One of those suspects is the chief of a small town police department.

Christopher Bishop, 37, of Murray City, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property and one count of obstructing official business -- both of which are misdemeanors.

Bishop is chief of the Murray City Police Department.

He had purchased a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Paul J. Roberts, who was the son of the deceased Paul E. Roberts -- the owner of the motorcycle.

Ronda Degarmore, 37, of Glouster, Ohio, pleaded not guilty to one count of theft, one count of receiving stolen property and one count of obstructing justice -- all of which are felonies.

Bishop has agreed to cooperate and testify against Paul J. Roberts, who is being charged in the murder of his father.

The elder Roberts' body was found buried last week at his home along Locust Street in Glouster.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says he is more concerned with the State building a strong case against Paul J. Roberts.

"As to whether Mr. Bishop’s actions will affect his position as Murray City Police Chief, that will be up to Murray City officials," Blackburn said in a prepared release.

The Hocking County Sheriff’s department arrested Bishop on Monday, Oct. 28.

Degarmore is being held in lieu of $125,000 bond and must not have any contact with Paul J. Roberts, Blackburn said.



UPDATE 10/28/13 @ 3:15 p.m.
ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A week after a man's body was found buried in a well under the porch of his home, his son has been charged with his murder.

A grand jury in Athens County, Ohio, has indicted Paul J. Roberts, 41, of Glouster, on nine counts in connection with the death of his father, Paul E. Roberts, 63.

The elder Roberts' body was found buried last week at his home on Locust Street in Glouster.

Paul J. is charged with aggravated murder, murder, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, intimidation of an attorney, victim or witness in a criminal case, grand theft of a vehicle, theft, theft of an elderly person or disabled adult, and vandalism.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says evidence points to Paul J. killing his father in his sleep.

Investigators believe the dispute between the father and son started the day before, over a car, which Paul J. Admitted to selling for heroin.

Blackburn says at this time, there are conflicting reports on how Paul J. killed his father. A preliminary autopsy ruled that Paul E. died from blunt force trauma. His son told a media outlet that he killed him with a pipe, but told police he used a hammer.

Blackburn says Paul J. has not expressed any remorse for his actions.

Paul J. was also indicted Monday on a prior charge of one count of Prohibited Acts Involving Certificates of Title, which is a felony.



UPDATE 10/22/13 @ 1:50 p.m.
ATHENS, Ohio (WSAZ) – Prosecutors say the body found under a house in Glouster, Ohio, is that of the homeowner, 63-year-old Paul E. Roberts.

Roberts’ body was recovered from a well under the house at 68 Locust Street Monday evening.

Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says the coroner’s preliminary ruling indicates that Roberts died of blunt force trauma.

The victim’s son, 40-year-old Paul J. Roberts, was arrested Sunday at his father’s house on a vandalism charge.

The Prosecutors Office has also filed an arrest warrant for Paul J. to be detained at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail and a bond of $100,000 for his pending felony cases. He is scheduled for sentencing on those cases November 4.

The investigation began Friday evening when Glouster Police went to the house to investigate a vandalism report. That is when Paul J. Roberts was arrested.

On Saturday, Glouster Police with the assistance of the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Identification began investigating the whereabouts of Paul E. Roberts. Blackburn says he was last seen more than two weeks ago.

Search warrants were then executed at house on Saturday and Monday.

Blackburn also says that Ronda Degarmore, who is Paul J. Roberts’ girlfriend, is being held in the SEORJ without bail on a probation violation.

Blackburn says the case remains under investigation and will be presented to a grand jury on October 28.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 10/21/13 @ 11 p.m.
ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – Investigators believe a body found underneath the back porch of a house in Glouster, Ohio on Monday is that of the missing homeowner.

63-year-old Paul E. Roberts who lived in the house at 68 Locust Street was last seen more than two weeks ago, according Athens County Prosecutor Keller.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

The Associated Press reports the body was found in a cistern, while a published report says the body was wrapped.

Police discovered his body during a search after neighbors reported that property had been removed from the house, according to the Associated Press.

Blackburn says that Friday night police were called to the home to check out a vandalism report and arrested Paul J. Roberts, 40, for vandalism.

A published report says Paul E. is his father.

On Saturday, Glouster Police with the assistance of the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Identification began an investigation into the whereabouts of Paul E. Roberts.

Search warrants were executed Saturday and Monday at the home and the body was found Monday.

Blackburn also says that Paul E. Roberts’ 2004 Black Jeep Liberty has been improperly transported from September 23, 2013 to October 19, 2013. He says a search is underway and that the vehicle is believed to be in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Investigators have not said how the man believed to be Roberts died. They have also not said if his son, Paul J. is connected to the death.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information


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