|Contact Clarence Dean "Skip" Roberts|
|Clarence D. Roberts
Allen Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 4501
Lima, OH 45802-4501
|DOB: October 30, 1959|
|Clarence Dean "Skip" Roberts' case data|
|State and County||Ohio, Guernsey County|
|Case No.||97 CR 63|
|Crime||Count 1: Aggravated Murder (O.R.C. § 2903.01)
Count 2: Aggravated Robbery (O.R.C. § 2929.13)
|Date of Crime||May 17, 1997|
|Date of Arrest|
|Date of Conviction||November 6, 1997|
|Sentence||Count 1: Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (The jury did not recommend the death penalty.)
Count 2: 10 years
The sentences run consecutively.
|Age at the Date of Crime||37|
|Contributing Factors||Perjury, Official Misconduct|
|Did DNA evidence contribute to the conviction?||No|
|Is there DNA evidence to test?||Yes|
On June 30, 1997, I Clarence “Skip” Roberts was indicted for Aggravated Robbery in violation of R.C. 2929.13 and Aggravated Murder, in violation of R.C. 2903.01 with a death penalty specification in connection with the robbery and death of Leo Sinnett on May 17, 1997. I was sentenced to serve a prison term of ten years on the aggravated robbery conviction and a term of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the aggravated murder conviction. The trial commenced on September 19, 1997 and concluded on September 30, 1997.
Statement of the Facts
supervised by APA http://www.drc.state.oh.us/web/apaoff.htm until October 4, 2008.
On May 17, 1997, in the village of Buffalo, Ohio (Guernsey County) at approximately 6:45 p.m., one Leo Sinnett was killed as a result of numerous stab wounds inflicted upon him by John LaFollette. Co-defendants Albert (Chip) Andrews and John LaFollette along with myself were all present at the residence of Leo Sinnett at the time of Mr. Sinnett’s death. Co-defendant Andrews and myself turned ourselves in to law enforcement officials. We were immediately arrested and questioned. Co-defendant John LaFollette immediately fled to Pennsylvania. Eventually, LaFollette was arrested and while in custody John LaFollette made two statements to Law Enforcement Officers investigating the death of Leo Sinnett.
A month after LaFollette was arrested and gave those two statements he had obtained a strong bond with the investigative officers and as a result many facts of this case became cloudy through manipulating and coercion by LaFollette and Law Enforcement which were detrimental to the outcome of my case, and who actually killed Mr. Sinnett.
LaFollette was asked if he ever heard anyone say, “Let’s go up and rob Leo Sinnett!” LaFollette replied, “No.” One week later, on June 25th, 1997, LaFollette provided yet another statement, stating that it was I, Skip Roberts, that said, “We’ll just kill him,” and this statement was made when LaFollette, asked by law enforcement officers what I (Roberts) was referring to, LaFollette had originally stated he did not know.
As will be shown herein, I was referring to an Afro-American man in Zanesville, Ohio who had stolen $ 100.00 from co-defendant Andrews and me, by way of a drug buy. (Trial Transcript Page (TTP) 1634)
The investigation and prosecution of this case raises many questions, while reviewing the testimony of John LaFollette and mine, as well as that of independent witnesses along with the forensic evidence. It is quite clear that the prosecutor had chosen me to be the actual perpetrator of these offenses regardless of what the actual evidence was telling them because in viewing the evidence, even in a light most favorable to the prosecution, it clearly reflects that John LaFollette was and is the principle offender of the murder and robbery of Leo Sinnett.
The following facts are actual chain of events which took place on Friday, May 16th, 1997 leading up to May 17th, 1997, the day Leo Sinnett was robbed and murdered.
Co-defendant John LaFollette and Albert (Chip) Andrews along with myself and another co-defendant Mia, (Mia is my ex-wife and the mother of my daugther Misty).
Co-defendant Albert (Chip) Andrews, co-defendant John LaFollette and myself had all met at my ex-wife Mia’s home as I was getting ready to leave from there; they had arrived. I had been at Mia’s for a while that day spending time with my daughter Misty. As I was about to leave, John LaFollette, Chip Andrews, and Mia came up and started talking with me. They had asked me if I would take them to Zanesville, Ohio to buy some drugs. I agreed to take them and they agreed to cut me in on some of the drugs. I am no angel. I have used and abused drugs and alcohol throughout my life.
So, the four of us went to Zanesville and we got ripped off for a $ 100.00 dollars during the drug buy, from an Afro-American man, who Chip Andrews had had dealings with before. In a hypothetical situation only, I commented that after being ripped off by this guy we should kill that dude. But, it was only a statement having no intention of actually acting on my comment, we returned home to Buffalo, Ohio. I then took Mia, Chip, and John back to Mia’s house and dropped them off. Mia asked me to come in and spend the night, but due to Mia being my ex-wife, and the fact that Mia and John LaFollette were having an affair, I did not feel comfortable staying there. So, I left. I was too intoxicated to drive another twenty (2) miles home. So, I drove to the Duke Station in downtown Buffalo and slept in my car.
This is what took place on the morning of Saturday, May 17th, 1997. It was a fairly warm spring morning when I awoke in my car at the Duke Station in Buffalo. [State Trooper Steven Stolarick of the Cambridge Highway Patrol testified that he saw my car there that night and ran the plates of my car and it came back to belonging to me.] I decided that I needed to go home and check on my three children. I had my niece Jessica babysitting for me. When I returned home, and seen that everything was fine with them, and all of my children had had their breakfast, I asked my niece if she would mind babysitting for a few more hours. She said she would continue to babysit, that it was not a problem at all.
I knew a friend of mine, Jim T., was having a party that day in Durwent, Ohio which is just outside of Buffalo, Ohio. I decided to go to this party. Early that afternoon when I had drunk all the beer and whiskey that I could handle, I left the home of Jim T. and headed back to Buffalo. I stopped at the Duke Station in Buffalo where I saw Jake LaFollette and he told me he had been looking for his pickup truck. [Jake had told me that his brother John LaFollette and Chip Andrews had borrowed the pickup truck from Jake earlier that morning.] Jake asked me if I would take him to Byersville, Ohio to look for his brother John and Chip at his cousin’s house. I did not really want to drive to Byersville to look for Jake’s brother John and Chip Andrews. I told Jake LaFollette that I had just put a new motor in my car (Oldsmobile Cutless), and I had not transferred the license plates into my name yet and I also told Jake that I had had too much to drink.
Jake said that is okay, Skip, you just put the motor in the car, right? So, we could remove the license plates and I will drive and if by some chance we get stopped by the police, and since I have not been drinking, we will just tell the police that we are just driving the car because to test because we just finished putting the motor in it. Jake went on to say that the police would see all the oil, tools, and stuff and the most we would get is a ticket. Jake had it all figured out. So, I agreed to take him to Byersville, but he was doing the driving. We did remove the license plates off of my car. We drove the backroads looking for John and Chip but they were not at the home of Jake’s cousin’s. We returned to Buffalo and I then mentioned to Jake that they may be at my ex-wife Mia’s home. Jake drove to Mia’s house and Jake’s truck was there as was John and Chip.
I was still sitting in the right front seat when Chip came out of Mia’s house. Chip asked me, if I would take him to Duke Station to get some beer and then go ride around for a while. I said, okay, but I told Chip that he would have to do the driving. At this point, John LaFollette came out of Mia’s house and asked if he could come along with us. I told him to jump on in. Jake LaFollette remained at Mia’s house with his truck.
We stopped at Duke Station and bought some beer and then we went driving around town drinking. It was a fairly warm spring day with people out and about contending to their daily activities. Andrews, LaFollette, and myself are well known to many people in Buffalo as it is a small town. We drove around town several times honking the horn, waving and yelling at people we knew. I did not make any attempts to hide or conceal my presence in any way, even though my car had no license plates on it.
At this time the conversation came up about taking another trip to Zanesville, Ohio to try and buy some drugs again. Andrews owned a house that he rents out for money. He said that he had a check for $200.00 or $300.00 which he had collected for the month’s rent.
I had about $200.00 in my billfold, but I did not want to use it, because it was for my bills, but I thought I could use about $50.00 of it, but no more than that.
John LaFollette said he thought he could get an advance on a job of removing a tree he was supposed to do for Leo Sinnett, if we would take him over to Mr. Leo Sinnett’s house he would go in and ask him. So, as Chip Andrews was still doing the driving we took John LaFollette to Leo Sinnett’s house.
In LaFollette’s statement, he has stated that his cousin Jack Siddle had asked him to go to Sinnett’s and clean up a tree. Now, within his second statement, LaFollette states, “Okay. I said, well, this is pretty cool. I said go ahead and check it out, because Jack Siddle told me…” asked me, if I wanted to do a tree job for him. It had already been started and uh…never got …exactly, never got finished, so I was like cool.”
Although LaFollette had neither performed the work already done or had done any at that time, he (LaFollette) wished to go to Mr. Sinnett’s to see if he could get an advance on said tree job. (Neither LaFollette, nor Jack Siddle had given any notice to Mr. Sinnett as to who was going to finish the job) and nowhere within the trial proceeding does it state that Sinnett okayed this; of LaFollette finishing the tree job and was never told to the police in either of his (LaFollette) two statements. LaFollette was the only one who had a reason to go to Sinnett’s home on the day in question. All of these events were to have happened in broad day light with all of Mr. Sinnett’s neighbors observing the activities of all three of us. LaFollette being gone some ten minutes or so, co-defendant Andrews stayed in the car. I myself then left the vehicle, growing impatient waiting on LaFollette, to look for John LaFollette, I got out of the car to search for LaFollette and walked around the left side of the house. I did not see LaFollette anywhere in sight, but hearing my car door shut, I assumed he had returned to the car. I then walked back around the house. (West side of the house of the house.)
Chip Andrews had claimed that he had passed out in the car, and he did not know the truth. But he does know the truth. The State’s own witness, Mrs. Shirley Stillion’s statements clearly reflect that she had seen me walk from the rear of the house. She is being quoted from her statement:
“The third man came from behind the Sinnett’s house and got in the car. He wore a colored tee-shirt and a partial beard.”
This was taken from her statement on May 17th, 1997, at 10:05 a.m.
Detective John Davis, on June 3, 1997 at 11:45 a.m. which is as follows:
“I was really looking at the guy that was coming from the back of Leo’s house.”
Detective Davis: “Okay, was anyone in the passenger front?”
Answer: “No, this is where the guy I watched come from around Leo’s house.”
“That’s where he got in, in the front.”
Detective: “Okay, when a person came from the back of Leo’s house what did this person look like?”
A: “Oh, he was about as tall as I am, thinner, darker hair, had a beard, had a black…black shirt on, maybe a little bit of white emblem on the front of it.”
Detective: “Okay, when this guy came around from the side of Leo’s house, was he in a hurry?”
A: “Didn’t seem to be in a hurry. He just walked normal and got in the front seat of the car.”
Detective: “Okay, when he came from around the side of the house, was it on the left side of Leo’s house or the right hand side?”
A: “Well, he just came from around the back and cut through the two pine trees, there.”
Detective: “Okay, but as you’re facing Leo’s house…it would be the…”
Detective (34 pages later):It would be…this side here would be your side as you’re facing the house and your right hand side would be the Eastside of the house. So would he come from the Eastside or the Westside as he came around?
Detective Pollock has stated he was also asked questions of Mrs. Stillion:
Detective: Was he coming from the pine trees?
Mrs. Stillion: Yeah, the pine trees.
Detective: The pine tree would be on your left facing the house?
Detective: Going towards where the car would be setting at?
Detective: And you indicated that person got in the front passenger seat?
Upon arriving back at the car, I inquired if LaFollette had gotten his advance. It was at this point, LaFollette stated he had just killed Mr. Sinnett to get the money (Trial Transcript Page (TTP) 1557).
With Andrews still in the driver’s seat, we pulled out and both Andrews and myself started yelling at LaFollette for his stupidity. There were witnesses who witnessed this, and Andrews and myself were seated upright, while LaFollette was trying to HIDE AND WAS CROUCHED DOWN IN THE BACK SEAT. Testimony of Albert (Chip) Andrews was never entered into evidence, which will be shown to be exculpatory in nature and stated as follows:
Though Andrews is still not coming forward with the truth…the complete truth, no more than the court would allow him to tell. The prosecutor prevented Andrews from testifying on my behalf by intimidating Andrews by threatening to put Andrews on death row right beside me, if he did testify on my behalf.
It is corrupt, unethical, immoral, unconstitutional, and even inhuman when a prosecutor threatens to place someone on death row, if they tell the truth.
Trial Transcripts from Albert (Chip) Andrews, Case No: 97-CR-66; Judge Ell Wood presided over the proceedings, same court room where my trial was held:
Page 20: They were arguing a little bit.
Page 21: Q: and who is arguing?
A: Skip and Johnny, they had some words. I couldn’t tell you what they were saying and Skip nudged me.
Q: Where were they when you woke up? Arguing?
A: Skip was in the passenger seat in the front and Johnny was behind him.
Q: So they wre already back in the car?
A: Yes, Sir.
Q: And that woke you up?
A: Yeah, Skip nudged me and told me to come on.
Q: What happened next?
A: Next, I pulled out and I said — Skip turned to Johnny and said: “How did you do?” And Johnny said
A: A fifty.
A: Now, Skip —
A: Clarence Roberts
A: turned to —
A: John LaFollette.
Q: Who is in the back seat, is that right?
Q: And said: how did you do?
A: Right, he said fifty.
Q: What did LaFollette say in response to that, if anything?
A: Fifty, to me it was fifty. I ended up going toward Derwent and there was
A: no talking going on period. And the State Patrol got behind Skip, Clarence, says State Patrol’s got you and reaches to the backseat and grabs his coat
A: and Johnny proceeds to hand the wallet to the front seat, which Skip says — Clarence says to keep it and quiet that he would take care of it.
Q: So at that time, LaFollette had Mr. Sinnett’s wallet?
A: Yes, Sir.
Even the court started to let Andrews know they did not want to hear too much, where the court stated or asked, what did LaFollette say, if anything, Andrews was not telling the complete truth. But the testimony Andrews did present strongly reflects that Andrews’ testimony in comparing it with my testimony, did corroborate and it coincided with Mrs. Stillion, one of the State’s witnesses. Whereas, my leather jacket was in the rear of the vehicle, with a knife which I had in a sheath inside my jacket, right where LaFollette was seated (TTP 1558). There was total disbelief and confusion of what LaFollette had told me and Andrews; by not coming clean with the complete truth, and his attorney not allowing him to testify on my behalf because of the deal he had made with the prosecutor; that LaFollette actually killed Mr. Sinnett, but upon being asked, LaFollette stated he had used my knife. LaFollette was still clutching the knife with both hands (see TTP 1557). I had to actually get up on my knees in the front seat to retrieve my knife back from LaFollette, and in doing so, I had a short struggle with LaFollette. Andrews only told a part of the facts, but this was still corroborated in part by Andrews when he stated that I had grabbed my jacket. If Andrews would have told the entire truth, he would have stated the time frame of the struggle over the knife as well, which was the same time.
LaFollette testified that he walked around the Sinnett home, looked at the tree he was to remove, (he also stated that Jack Siddle instructed him to clean it up), and returned to the vehicle.
LaFollette states he saw me come from the front door of Sinnett’s home, (contrary to LaFollette’s statement here is that the State witness, Mrs. Stillion saw me coming from the side of the house, or the westside, where the job of removing the tree was supposed to be located at. The problem with this is, I could not have been in two places at one time. So, who are we to believe, LaFollette, who is trying to stay off of death row, or Mrs. Stillion, who has nothing to gain by lying under oath?)
There is yet another problem with LaFollette’s testimony, it is physically impossible to stab someone over forty times, rob them, ram shack their home, and leave the house in the same length of time as it takes to walk around the Eastside of the house, and look at a tree.
As stated at the beginning of this letter, an independent witness for the State saw me, who she knew, walking around the leftside of the Sinnett house.
Mrs. Shirley Stillion (TTP 1093):
She states she was close enough to describe me, clothes: dark T-shirt with white writing on it.
LaFollette stated he had on a maroon shirt. Additionally, she noticed two men in the car, Andrews in the driver’s seat and me in the passenger’s front seat, while LaFollette ws crouched down in the rear seat. (TTP 1097). Whereas, she had seen LaFollette sitting up in the rear seat previously.
Mrs. Dolan, another witness for the State, testified that she lived about a block away from the Sinnett home; that she had also seen the car with its occupants. She further stated that she knew the men in the car and that they had been yelling and whistling at her earlier. (TTP 1071). She also testified that after 6:30 p.m. she seen the car come down the hill from the Sinnett home, that she heard the two men yelling (Andrews and myself (TTP 1074)). At first, she thought it was them just yelling as before. She also states she was right beside the road when they went by. She saw my right hand and arm hanging out the car window (TTP 1079). She was never asked if she saw any blood on my hand or arm, because there was none. This witness did notice that LaFollette was crouched down in the back seat (TTP 1079).
Andrews then proceeds to drive the car toward State Route 313, went through the underpass of I-77 and was stopped by State Trooper Sgt. Brian Viersta about a mile from the Sinnett home.
Within Sgt. Vierstra’s written report of Saturday May 17th, 1997, [no record exists that this report was actually done on this date, because Sgt. Viersta failed to date his report, but he believes his report was done on this day as Trooper Stolarick, 05/19/1997-1600 hours, O.S.P. Cambridge, Ohio.] Sgt. Viersta states after hearing the radio call asking for assistance at the Sinnett home and upon stopping our car, he exited his patrol car as the driver and passenger were attempting to exit their vehicle. He ordered the passenger to remain seated and told Andrews, the driver, to step away from the vehicle. After a positive I.D. of Andrews was made, he placed Andrews under arrest for D.U.I. and radioed for Trooper Stolarick. While Sgt. Viersta waited on Trooper Stolarick, Sgt. Viersta observed the right front passenger retrieve a black leather jacket from the rear seat and then put it on. (Sgt. Viersta is the Trooper who investigated the crime scene at the Sinnett home.) This does not corroborate with Andrews’ earlier statement, or mine.
When Sgt. Viersta pulled out and came up behind us he observed through the back window of my car the struggle between LaFollette and myself over the knife and me put the black leather jacket on. Upon the arrival of Trooper Stolarick, the right front passenger was permitted to exit the vehicle (the passenger being me), where the troopers made contact with me in front of Sgt. Viersta’s patrol car. I identified myself as Clarence Roberts (nickname “Skippy”) through an Ohio identification card and I presented the trooper with the title of my car. Trooper Stolarick observed a knife on me at my side and confiscated it from me, then secured it in his patrol car. Both, Trooper Stolarick and Trooper Viersta noticed a large amount of blood [quoting Sgt. Viersta’s written report] on my hands and the front portion of my pants between my wasite and knees. Sgt. Viersta observed the knife Trooper Stolarick had retrieved from me, and it appeared to have blood and flesh on it. Sgt. Viersta, in his written report, states that he was shown an almost full bottle of beer he collected from the right front passenger area where I had been seated. Sgt. Viersta stated he would not take lawful action. I was allowed to remove personal items from my vehicle. Sgt. Viersta left the scene with Andrews in custody and transported him to the patrol barracks, while Trooper Stolarick waited on the tow truck.
On direct examination of Sgt. Vierstra, he states that when he pulled us over that the front passenger and the driver began to exit the vehicle, but now states that the third person seated behind the driver remained seated. ( He mentions a third person in his written report. (TTP 948, Sgt. Viersta’s trial testimony))
While conducting a field sobriety test on Andrews, he noticed the front passenger retrieve a black leather jacket from the back seat and put it on (TTP 949). But within the testimony of Andrews, and myself, looking at the time frame of retrieving the knife and jacket are completely contrary from that of Sgt. Viersta’s. (Trial Testimony of Albert (Chip) Andrews and Trial Testimony of me).
According to Sgt. Vierstra, the vehicle was on State Route 313 going pass the Duke Station headed out of Buffalo and headed toward Sgt. Viersta at which time I was in the process of retrieving my knife away from LaFollette, to get it back under control, and I grabbed my black leather jacket and put it on. Meanwhile, Chip Andrews was looking in the back seat when he went left of center and then drove off of the right side of the road on to the gravel berm which caught the attention of Sgt. Viersta (TTP 1560). Andrews states that “the trooper got behind him and Roberts tells me that the State Highway Patrol has you. Then LaFollette proceeds to hand a wallet to the front seat, which Skip (Clarence Roberts) says to keep it.
Actually though, LaFollette only tried to hand the money out of the wallet, knowing the car was illegal, therefore assuming the car would be towed away and it would implicate me (Roberts) being part of the crimes so to keep me quiet LaFollette tried to pass the money off to me. My testimony was corroborated within the details of these events, from the knife to just past the Duke Station in Buffalo right before you go through the underpass of I-77. When I had to get on my knees in the front seat and reach over to the back seat to take the knife from John LaFollette, because I had to use two hands, at first attempting to use only one hand, to get the knife away from John LaFollette. Upon getting possession of the knife I turned back around and sat right in my seat. I then, with my right hand, and the knife already being in the sheath, slipped the knife back onto my belt as the sheath was equipped with a clip. While putting the knife and sheath back on my belt I got two “tear drop” size blood smears on the right front passenger’s seat and within the sequence of events I put my black leather jacket on. (TTP 1559).
In quoting Sgt. Vierstra, “Trooper Stolarick arrived, I handcuffed Andrews and got the front passenger out of the car, where we identified him right off as he (Roberts) pulled his Ohio ID card from his wallet, and also gave us a title to the vehicle that he had not yet transferred into his name.” (TTP 949). Upon asking Sgt. Viersta to ID me in court, he stated, “I believe his hair was pulled back into a ponytail, had on a black leather jacket, with a cut off black shirt, which had a Harley Davidson enblem on it,” (TTP 951) “had a little bit of a braid.” (TTP 951)
When Sgt. Vierstra was asked to explain where he had indicated that Roberts was covered in blood, he states:
“Basically, really from his knees to his waist area, he was just all covered in blood, and his hands were all bloody.” (TTP 952).
The actual facts that I had very little blood on me, which is completely contrary to Sgt. Viersta’s testimony. I was asked if I ever noticed my hands which I stated I did eventually notice my hand, where I had taken the knife away from LaFollette, I had gotten a small smear of blood on my right hand (top only), which I had taken some spittle from my tongue, placed it on the blood smear and wiped it off on my shirt. This is completely contrary to the prosecution’s theory and the picture the State was painting for the jury, which was misleading and incorrect due to the fact he had confused me with misleading quesitons. My attorney had told me not to get into a pissing contest with the prosecutor, so I replied with whatever he wanted to hear so he would leave me alone, but I tried to tell the truth.
Sgt. Vierstra was then asked what happened next. He stated, “we finished or ran Roberts’ through the computer and found no warrants and informed Roberts that the vehicle was going to be impounded and towed.” “This is when Roberts requested that he be allowed to get his personal items out and then, we had the remaining passenger get out of the car,” this would be the person in the back seat? “That’s correct.” Upon being asked if that person was known to them, the answer was no, not at that time. (TTP 952).
At this point, John LaFollette exited the car, went straight into the house of Jim Tuttle, a person he did not know, and after a couple of minutes, I went inside the house where LaFollette ran into, and at first I could not find him anywhere in the house). I searched for LaFollette and found him in the bathroom washing the blood off of his hands and shirt. At that point, I told LaFollette that the Highway Patrol was about to tow my car. That is when LaFollette informed me that he had hidden Mr. Sinnett’s wallet in the back seat of my car. I told LaFollette he had to get it the hell out of my car! I still had the fan running on my car because it was wired directly to my battery. I then went back outside and asked the Highway Patrolman if I could unhook my fan wire. That is when LaFollette came back out to my car, and got into the right front passenger’s seat, retrieved a cassette tape from the front seat of my car, then reaches int ot the backseat to where ever he had placed Mr. Sinnett’s wallet, and retrieved it. After retrieving these items LaFollette got back out, while staying turned away the entire time. LaFollette held up a cassette tape for the trooper to see and then went right back inside the Jim Tuttle residence.
When asked how far from Buffalo did the traffick stop take place, it was stated about 3/4 of a mile, but when Sgt. Vierstra was asked if he observed any weapons on me, he answered, “Yes.” But within the next lines of his testimony, Sgt. Vierstra stated that Trooper Stolarick went out and pulled the knife out of the sheath and showed it to him (Sgt. Vierstra), he then secured it in his patrol car. (TTP 954).
There was never any mention of the knife until Trooper Stolarick held it up. (TTP 955), so how can it be said differently?
There are a lot of inconsistencies between Sgt. Vierstra’s testimony. Their recollections of events are very different to that of other state witnesses such as to the blood being all over me, (it is human nature that if someone observes blood on another person they are not likely to forget it, and would remember something like that). Mrs. Stillion did not observe any blood on me as I walked around the westside of the Sinnett house to look for LaFollette. Mrs. Dolan did not observe any blood on me; where my hand and arm was hanging outside the car window. These issues are extremly pertinent to material facts and need to be srupulously reviewed. How can one witness, who observed me walking around the house of the Sinnett residence, and another witness observe me a few feet away in a passing car, slowly passing by at 5 or 10 miles per hour with my hand and arm hanging outside the car window see no blood whatsoever on my hand and arm? Then when pulled over on a traffic stop, all of a sudden I am covered in blood from my waist to my knees and all over my hand and arm. There was absolutely no corroborating testimony to this claim by the State Troopers. There are no inconsistencies in the truth! The truth always remains the same and only changes when contrary statements are entered.
The fact that the police reports of Sgt. Vierstra and Trooper Stolarick were not out or filled out until two (2) days later (May 19, 1997; time: 1600 hours, O.S.P.)
Plus being able to observe the crime scene first, before doing so, which was used to intensify the amount of blood. Sgt. Vierstra and Trooper Stolarick state in their testimonies, they seen for themselves that I had pulled my wallet out, pulled out an Ohio ID card, pulled out the title for my vehicle, so in all aspects there would be blood on my pants pockets, the title, the Ohio ID card, and the wallet. So, why were these items not submitted for DNA testing as well? (For at least one reason, the trooper lied. It will state within the record that these items had been tested, plus the inside and outside door handles on the passenger of the car they too would have come back as having “no blood on them”!)
The items that were submitted for DNA testing came back with no blood on them, but yet, I touched all of these items, if I was to have had that amount of blood on me, as the prosecutorial team claims, and it only being sixty seconds or so after the crimes were committed, these items would most certainly have had some amount of blood on them as well.
I also question as to why, in all reality, if I was covered in blood, and drunk and on drugs, then why was I not taken into custody? Why was I not arrested when the State Trooper had stopped us? Why was I not taken into custody, then taken to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Barracks and questioned about my allegedly being covered in blood? I fully realize that I failed to do what I should have during the traffic stop, but being confused and uncertain over what LaFollette had just done, I did not know what to say. I did state to Sgt. Vierstra that the small smear of blood on top of my right hand only came from cleaning a deer earlier in the day, which deer hunting was out of season at that time (TTP 1597). In front of Sgt. Vierstra I took the spittal from my tongue onto the blood smear and it was tested for DNA analysis by B.C.I., but the results came back as having no trace of blood. All of my clothing was recovered except for my black leather jacket, details on the jacket within.
Recovering my black leather jacket and having it tested for DNA, would corroborate the prosecutorial team’s case against me, if they are to be believed. Given Sgt. Vierstra and Trooper Stolarick’s caliber, what reason could they present as to why they allowed me to go without arresting me and taking me into custody, especially if I was covered in blood as they proclaim?
In the Jeffersonian Newspaper article reports on the statement that Sgt. Vierstra and Trooper Stolarick made in regards to the traffic stop they made on us:
Sgt. Vierstra and Trooper Stolarick were honored for the professionalism they demonstrated in May while working a program targeting DUI enforcement.
During a traffic stop, Vierstra and Stolarick questioned two male individuals covered with blood. With no evidence of foul play, the subjects were identified and released.
(See “The Daily JeffersoniannNewspaper article, Friday May, 19, 1997, “Troopers Cited For Professionalism.”
But yet, by the time the case goes to trial, these officers change their story to the effect that I am the only one covered in blood.
Evidence presented herein shows that co-defendant, John LaFollette is the lone perpetrator of these crimes. It is he who stabbed to death and robbed Leo Sinnett. Yet, in order to get John LaFollette to testify against me naming me as the prime offender in the death and robbery of Leo Sinnett, the State offered LaFollette a plea bargain in return for his testimony.
The Daily Jeffersonian newspaper article, September 19, 1997, “Court Accepts Plae”:
A negotiated plea has been reached in the case of John LaFollette, 28, a co-defendant in the homicide death of 66-year-old Leo Sinnett of Buffalo.
LaFollette pleaded no contest to amended charges of complicity to commit involuntary manslaughter and complicity to commit aggravated robbery.
LaFollette has agreed to testify trustfully in the trials of the other two men.
While Trooper Stolarick was conducting the inventory of my items, Vierstra states that no one was in the vehicle, that I remained outside the vehicle, and the backseat passenger had not been identified, got out of the vehicle, and immediately went into the house located at the traffic stop (TTP 956). As I had stated previously in this brief.
This is where things began to really become confusing, and make absolutely no sense to me. Trooper Vierstra states in his own words, that Trooper Stolarick started and completed the inventory, but now Sgt. Vierstra tells the jury, that he did have a chance to visually view the last passenger walk towards the Tuttle house and also states that he was standing behind the vehicle which is when Vierstra was beginning his inventory of my items and told LaFollette to get out of the vehicle. LaFollette then slid over to the passenger side and walked straight inside the Tuttle residence. (TTP 957) On cross-examination Vierstra was asked, if it would be an accurate statement to say, I did not try to conceal himself from you or avoid you? Vierstra replies by saying other than putting on his jacket. (TTP 961) Vierstra also stated that he was able to notice Roberts, clothing as a black leather jacket with a black tee-shirt with a white Harley Davidson emblem on it. Upon further testimony it was discovered that Vierstra had ordered the backseat passenger (LaFollette) out of the vehicle and did not order him to come back to him, but he also states, when he got out of the vehicle and went into the house, immediately, went directly to the house, the guy who owned the house (Jim Tuttle) was standing there and LaFollette walked right into the house, and when asked when LaFollette was ID’d it states that it was not until the next day, off of the photo from the Sheriff’s Department…when asked, you usually identify all persons in a traffic stop, his response was normally we do. (TTP 965) Now on direct examination of Trooper Stolarick, he states that he arrived at the traffic stop after being called to assist Vierstra. He saw one male subject out of the vehicle and immediately recognized him as Andrews, at that point he was under arrest for DUI, Vierstra informed him (Stolarick) that the other two white male subjects were also intoxicated and we discussed what to do with them.
During our discussion we allowed the right front passenger to exit the vehicle and come back to where I (Trooper Stolarick) and Sgt. Vierstra were standing, (i.e. between the violator’s vehicle and the patrol car) as the subject identified himself by an Ohio ID card, which he took out of his wallet. I saw a knife sheath hanging below the bottom edge of Robert’s black leather jacket, as the subject was talking with Vierstra, I came from behind the subject and pulled a knife out of the sheath. I did notice that the subject’s hands were blood covered, as if he poured red dye on them, the front of his blue jeans were also covered with what appeared to be blood, mainly on both sides of the front, above his knees to the waste line.
The patrol post advised that B&B Towing was enroute for the vehicle and Vierstra started an inventory sheet (Vierstra’s written report), on the vehicle listing the vehicle owner’s name etc., which he left with me to complete because he did not want to leave Andrews alone in the patrol car unattended. Prior to checking the car, it was learned that Roberts knew the resident of the house, and it was arranged for the two subjects to remain under his control, which the resident of the house was identified as Mr. Jim Tuttle. I (Stolarick) watched Roberts get a long screw driver out of the vehicle and open the trunk where he removed a set of jumper cables, a red topless tool box with mixed tools, a quart of oil, and a yellow plastic container with several items inside. I started to check out the interior of the vehicle, and by this time the only male subject left in the vehicle had exited and went into the house. He had not been checked for identity by myself. As I looked at the right front floor of the vehicle I observed a glass bottle of beer that had already been opened and about 3/4 the way full, still having moisture on the outside, and showing it to Sgt. Vierstra, we decided not to cite Roberts. Sgt. Vierstra advising me that inventory sheet, where Sgt. Vierstra left the scene at 7:18 pm.
(The 3/4 full moist beer bottle that I had been drinking from, and was decided by both officers, not to cite me for drinking from an open container, had also been tested by B.C.I. for traces of blood and DNA. No blood was found, but yet, my hands were supposed to have been covered in blood as if I had poured red dye on them.)
“John Kennedy from B&B Towing arrived on the scene and I got behind the steering wheel of the violator’s vehicle and backed it up, then pulled the vehicle forward to the loading part of the wrecker sling. John Kennedy was given a copy of the inventory sheet. John was also accompanied by a six or seven year old boy. When Mr. Kennedy got to leave he was given only the ignition key, which was taken off the key ring by me.” (No mention of blood by John Kennedy. This key ring did have more keys on it as well as a scallop looking Harley-Davidson type knife can opener.)
Turning to the testimony of Trooper Stolarick, he states that there were two other individuals in the vehicle upon his arrival. It was determined that Andrews was going to be arrested for DUI, then the gentleman in the right front seat was called out to come back and talk to us while we were processing Andrews. I had asked Roberts if he had any proof of ownership for the vehicle at which time he stated he had a receipt and the title for the vehicle. Then he pulled out his wallet, and retrieved his title for the vehicle from it which did match up to the vehicle. See TTP 975. Additionally, he was positively ID’d from an Ohio ID card that was in his wallet also. (TTP 974).
When Trooper Stolarick was asked if he noticed anything unusual on his person at the time?
Answer: Yes, I did, while I was talking to Vierstra and when I was looking at him, I noticed that his hands were completely covered in red as if they were died red, I also noticed on the front part of his clothes from his waste area down to his knees were covered with a red substance which appeared to be blood. (TTP 976)
Additioanlly, Trooper Stolarick states at this time that I was wearing a black leather jacket, and as he spoke to Vierstra he had his back towards me, and, I noticed on the back part of him down around the right rear pocket area of his pants, a black leather sheath was partly visible (TTP 976). New, at this time, there remained one subjeet left in the vehicle that this person remained in the left side rear of the vehicle and had his shoulders back and was looking away from me the whole time. (This would be John LaFollet who was trying very hard to conceal himself).
In the written report by Trooper Stolarick he starts the inventory sheet of the inside vehicle, and by the time the white male inside of the vehicle, on the left side, rear, he had exited the vehicle and went inside the house. Now within his trial testimony Trooper Stolarick states that the third subject went directly in the house from the backseat, the Trooper has stated that he seen only his left rear shoulder as he was leaning up against the left rear door and the back of his head (TTP 985). This version and Sgt. Viersta’s version do not match; it was stated earlier by Vierstra that the third gentleman slid over to the right side of the vehicle and exited immediately into the house, so we now have two versions from the same events.
On trial transcript page 974, there was talk about my wallet. On TTP 989, lines 2-18, Trooper Stolarick’s response to a question is as follows:
Question: You had previously indicated you had observed the waalet Roberts had when he showed his Ohio ID?
Answer: Yes, I did, we were watching Roberts hands the whole time, as we do with any individual that we stop. We actually watched him pull the wallet out, open the wallet. We looked inside as he gpened the wallet up. I seen several papers in there bent over, folded, seen he actually showed his Ohio ID Card, which we matached up with him standing right next to us. He pulled out the title for the car and that’s where he had the title, which we looked at.
Question: Did he then place it back into his wallet?
Answer: Yes, he did.
Question: And where did he keep his wallet?
Answer: I believe it was in his right rear pocket.
Trooper Stolarick testified that around 10:47 pm, they retrieved the items that I had taken from the vehicle and left at Tuttle’s residence, this did include the 3/4 full bottle of beer that had the moisture on it.
Upon cross-examination Trooper Stolarick testified that Vierstra left with Andrews, that he can picture someone else coming back out to the vehicle with Roberts but states it is possible that LaFollette came back out to the vehicle. (TTP 1016)
(This is where I had stated previously LaFollette came back out to the car to get Mr. Sinnett’s wallet whereever LaFollette had placed it).
Asked if he had any recollection of seeing blood, Trooper Stolarick states, none that I recall. Upon his written report, he makes a notation about the area where he had placed Roberts knife (in the patrol car), but also states, that he did not have any type of gloves on (which goes against protocol when dealing with a traffic stop) and the knife found on a person which is supposed to be covered in blood like he had dyed his hands red, when he took the knife from me (Roberts), held it up so Vierstra could observe it, and then placed it on the floor board of his vehicle (patrol car), and states there was no blood on his hands (TTP 1018). B.C.I. Lab did come and observe the Trooper’s vehicle, but B.C.I. was not sure if any tests were done, but also states no blood in that area.
The next witness the State of Ohio called was Jim Tuttle, the residence where the traffic stop took place. He was asked if he knew Roberts and if he had ever met LaFollette. He stated no. When asked if Roberts had removed anything from his car, such items that had been mentioned throughout the proceedings, his answer was yes, but they had a hard time locating the bottle on top of the refrigerator, and advised Trooper Stolarick as such. When asked if either man had used the towel and it was recovered by the authorities and tested. Mr. Tuttle stated he did not observe any blood on his towel. He was also asked if he noticed if Roberts was wearing his black leather jacket. He replied not during the day, but toward the evening, yes. (TTP 1044). After the testimony of the witness’ testimony and that of Law Enforcement personnel, they called the B.C.I. Lab Technicians to mainly testify as to what was tested and what was not, and to give the results of those tests.
Margaret Saupe is employed at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Identifications located in London, Ohio. The items that are sent to B.C.I. and I. For testing are assigned their own B.C.I. and I. case number. In this case, the number assigned was 97-40266. She will explain some of the items and their results.
Item #5: A paper bag and its contents. A small box containing some evidence hairs. There were also pill tins containing blood samples and control samples.
The results of the hair testing were consistent with the victim’s chest hairs. There was a small cluster of animal hairs and what appeared to be a small head hair. These hairs were compared with the known chest hairs of Roberts (myself), but did not match.
There were a few items which she did not find any blood on. (TTP 1335). They are listed below.
Item #A-4: Paper bag containing dark colored t-shirt with notraeeof any blood.
Item #A-10: Plastic bag containing Andrews’ personal clothing, wallet, knife, cigarettes, lighters, a buffalo nickel and shoes belonging to Andrews. No blood was found on any of these items.
Item #B-4: Brown paper sack containing Roberts’ clothing, a black shirt, blue jeans which no blood was found on any of these items.
Item #B-6: Money that was recovered from Roberts’ arrest which totaled $140.15. No sign of blood was found on this money.
Item #B-12: Fishing rod wrapped in green paper. No blood found on this item.
Item #B-13: Leather gloves, which no test stated in transcripts.
A beer box containing seven bottles of beer and then there was a loose bottle in a brown bag along with the seven bottles. No blood was found on these items either.
Referring back to the head hair which was found in the victim’s hand. When comparing this to Roberts, they were completely different. Upon cross-examination of Mrs. Saupe, she was asked if she identified a towel as having human blood on it. Her reply was yes. But, she also states she did not identify whose blood it was because no tests were performed.
She also stated that she was not informed to submit these items for a DNA Analysis. (TTP 1355). Now, the leather gloves: No blood was found on them. When asked, you can’t say there is any match to Roberts. She answers, that is correct. She was additionally, she was asked if she was given any control samples from John LaFollette. She testified that she did not recall that there was anything submitted of LaFollette’s for a comparision test, nor does she know whether anything was found at the crime scene, to match to that of LaFollette. (TTP 1365). Upon further testimony Mrs. Saupe was asked if she recalled any blood and asked if she considered the Luminal Spray on the passenger side door handle, both inside and out, and also if she did any type of tests on these areas. She replied no. She was able to visualize those areas clearly; as she put it, it was a judgement call. There was nothing that matched or was similar to that of Roberts, and again, nothing of LaFollette’s was submitted for comparison.
Another piece of material evidence which was not entered into evidence or turned over to the court: This key evidence was material and exculpatory to my defense stated as follows:
Special Agent, Michael Kopfer from B.C.I., Southage Road, Byersville, Ohio (TTP 1307) failed to turn over my black leather jacket, after Mr. Kopfer did or assisted with the inventory of evidence from my 1979 Ford Ranger pick-up truck, on May 18, 1997 the day of my arrest. I had in fact turned myself in to Law Enforcement where they took immediate custody of me. I was driving my 1979 Ford Ranger pick-up truck and was still wearing the same jacket, and clothes I was wearing on the day in question ofthe traffic stop on State Route 313 in Durwent, Ohio by Sgt. Vierstra and Trooper Stolarick.
Special Agent, Michael Kopfar was the lead agent from B.C.I. that assisted with the inventory of evidence of my 1979 Ford Ranger pick-up truck, and in doing so, removed all items from my truck which included: tools, fishing poles, log chains, all items from Glofeorapantment, etc. The most important item which was excluded and left in my truck was the black leather jacket that was still in my truck.
After Mr. Kopfer completed the inventory of evidence of my truck, he then called my wife Oralia to come pick up my truck from the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Department impound lot. My wife came to visit me at the Guernsey County Jail and informed me that nothing was left in my truck except my black leather jacket. She said, “I mean everything is gone, except the jacket.”
At that point, I told my wife to put the jacket in a plastic bag and I will have you give it to my attorney, Mr. Tingle, but I could never get Mr. Lewis M. Tingle to ever take charge of the jacket and have it disclosed (entered into evidence) so it could be tested for DNA Analysis by B.C.I. & I.; although, I know it would have come back as all the rest of the items in evidence. No trace of blood was on the jacket because I was not covered in blood.
During the trial, the court was on a break for ten minutes when Special Agent Kopfer and another member of the Sheriff’s Office have charge of me (Roberts) on break, and I asked Special Agent Kopfer if he had ever seen my black leather jacket, which he responded by saying “yes”. He further stated, “it was in your 1979 Ford Ranger pick-up.” I then asked him, Agent Kopfer, why he did not turn over my jacket and enter it into evidence like the rest of my stuff which Mr. Kopfer informed that because he examined my jacket and found there was no blood on it, so he felt no need to. I then said to Special Agent Kopfer, well, there was no blood on the rest of my property items you removed from my truck or car, but yet you turned all of that over.
At that point Mr. Special Agent was lost for words and did not have anything else to say to me.
I then informed my attorney, Mr. Tingle, of my conversation with Special Agent Kopfer and tried to get Mr. Tingle to question Mr. Kopfer as to why he failed to turn my jacket over to the court. Mr. Tingle just kept trying to tell me this was not the time, even after I became loudly assertive with him, he still allowed Mr. Kopfer to step down from the witness stand without one word about my black leather jacket.
I still have the jacket sealed in a plastic bag which can still be tested but as to this date it has not done me any good because I have been unable to get anyone to test my jacket. This jacket, as everything else, did not fit into the State’s case, so it purposely did not find its way into the trial because it would have been exculpatory evidence to my favor.
Within the court proceedings already testified to, there is no doubt that I made no attempt to conceal myself and I quickly identified myself by turning myself in, however, LaFollette remained in the vehicle until he was able to escape and further conceal himself by going straight into the Tuttle residence (and later fled to Pennsylvania). Expicit behavior which strongly supports “conscienceness of guilt.”
Meanwhile, Trooper Stolarick was very confused in his testimony because he states that Sgt. Vierstra started the inventory sheet, he noticed the knife on me but did not observe any blood on the right or left pocket of my blue jeans. He states the knife was on the right rear pocket side. He also states that I handed him my ID card and title out of my wallet that I touched. The testimony of Trooper Stolarick, where the backseat passenger was on the left side of the vehicle. One states that LaFollette exited the left side of the vehicle and the other testifies that he observed LaFollette slid over and exited the vehicle on the right side. They testified they took little time and opportunity to observe LaFollette (TTP 1022) again, it was testified that LaFollette wasted no time getting to the house (TTP 1022). Within the testimony, I was somewhat confused because my previous past experiences and observations with law enforcement officers on the highway always resulted in everyone having to present their identification before being released from a traffic stop. In this case however, neither officer observed LaFollette to see if in fact had any blood on him. Yet, I was to have been covered in blood if one believes these two law enforcement officers which would certainly be probable cause to check the rest of the passengers to see if they too were covered in blood. Would it not be plausible that if you observe one person allegedly being covered in blood would you not want to check everyone else to see if they were covered in blood as well?
A Note of Reminder: It was LaFollette who quickly ran into the Tuttle Residence and it was LaFollette who abscounded to Pennsylvania to where he had to be extradited back. Is this not evidence of a man having something to hide or conceal himself from?
The next witness the State of Ohio calls to the witness stand is co-defendant John LaFollette’s sister Kimberly Robbins. She states she received a telephone call from her brother John LaFollette around 7:30 pm asking her for a ride to take them, LaFollette and myself, to the patrol barracks to pick up Andrews. Upon arriving LaFollette opens the car door, entered the vehicle and then I got in behind LaFollette, (LaFollette sat behind the driver, TTP 1121). It was also stated that I wanted to go to the bar, but it was LaFollette who said to drop them off at the bar because they did not want to go to the Highway Patrol Barracks (TTP 1122). We were dropped off at the Spirit Lounge in Cambridge, Ohio which is located just off of State Route 209, (The Pancake House side, up on the hill). Kim states that Andrews was not at the Patrol Barracks when she got there, and that Andrews had already been released, so they went back to the Spirit Lounge to get LaFollette and me (Skip Roberts, TTP 1124) on the second time at the lounge, Matt, Kim’s husband, had gone inside to get the two, when Matt returned to the car he stated that LaFollette and I wanted the two of them to join us for a drink. LaFollette and me were sitting at a table. Kim was asked by the prosecution what clothes did we have on. Kim replied that LaFollette was wearing a maroon shirt, with blue jeans and Roberts was wearing a black Harley shirt, a leather vest and jeans (TTP 1128). This corroborates with Mrs. Stillion and both officers. Matt Robison also testified that they went to the lounge; further stating that when his wife asked for a drink there was money laying on the table ($5.00 and some ones), which the barmaid took for her drink (TTP 1153).
Then Teresa Kinnan, the barmaid at the Spirit Lounge, testified that Roberts was wearing a black shirt with a white emblem on it and jeans. She also stated that LaFollett was lighter, but couldn’t remember, in her statement of May 20, 1997. She stated the girl ordered a Mountain üew and that she took the drink over to Kim and when she did she looked at the guy who had been sitting there and said Johnnie, do you have a dollar? Which he replied you know, all I got is fifties (TTP 1165).
Later that evening, I and LaFollette were trying to find a ride after my Ford Ranger pick-up had run out of gas we were picked up by Sheriff Carpenter, and I quickly identified myself as Skip Roberts, but LaFollette stated he was Josh Pierce (TTP 1624).
This investigation turned only on me while LaFollette was completely ignored. There is no evidence in the Sinnett home to link me to these dispictable crimes against Leo Sinnett. I did not go inside Leo Sinnett’s home. I did not murder nor rob Leo Sinnett. All of the items taken from the home of Leo Sinnett supports this. I had submitted my DNA at the time of my arrst for a comparison test to be conducted. There was never any attempt to get a comparison test on John LaFollett. (Margret Saupe TTP 1365). What appears to be a bloody towel was recovered (Dan Vincent TTP 1257) that John LaFollette had used at the Tuttle residence, and why testing was not performed on this towel which totally connects John LaFollette to being the person who murdered and robbed Leo Sinnett is still not clear to me, but still this was not tested for a comparison test to me either. (Magaret Saupe, TTP 1359). Hairs that were found in the victim’s hand did not match that of my hair (Magaret Saupe, TTP 1365), but there was never any attempt to match this with that of John LaFollette, with nothing submitted for a comparison test. (TTP 1365).
There was a bloody fingerprint left at the crime scene, but no match to me was made (TTP 1379-Cheryl Mayhan). Again, no attempt to try and match this print to LaFollette was ever made. The shirt worn by me was found and tested for blood, but no blood was found on my shirt. Again, no attempt was ever made to find and test LaFollette’s clothes; of all the items sent to B.C.I. & I. Lab for testing, not one thing of LaFollette’s was sent for a comparison test, for a matching. All items that were sent for a comparison test to me such has, fingerprints, hair, blood, personal effects; money, keys, et cetera. All of these items failed to link me to anything involving the death of Leo Sinnett. (TTP 1343-1383) Although a very small smear of blood, as seen on the passenger seat of where I was sitting in my vehicle for it to be Leo Sinnett’s. Still, this totally corroborates with my testimony that there was blood on the knife when I clipped it back onto my belt after taking it away from LaFollette (TTP 1560).
I did not enter the residence of Leo Sinnett. I had no fore-knowledge that John LaFollette was planning to rob and murder the victim, Leo Sinnett. As from the onset of this case I maintain my innocence and there is evidence that was never tested that will prove John LaFollette is the lone perpetrator of these crimes.
Additionally , Sgt. Vierstra and Trooper Stolarick were presented with an award which came out of the Jeffersonian Newspaper on the Friday before they were to testify at my trial on Monday. The article boasted their credibility. Upon oral motion, this was brought to the attention of the court. The court questioned the jurors about the article and asked if they had read the Newspaper that Friday. One alternate raised her hand and said she did read the paper but not the article. This has to raise a great question when considering that the court did not dismiss the alternate jurors in my case but allowed them to sit in on deliberations. (See TTP 930 through 938, and the copy of the newspaper article.)
Respectfully and sincerely,
Clarence “Skip” Roberts
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I need a private investigator, DNA expert, Touch DNA (Google Search) expert, and a defense attorney.
I have had so many State Public Defenders in my case, because they pass clients on to other attorneys in their office. Attorneys there move on as they get their start there from law school. I am in dire need of an investigator and an attorney who will study my case so the truth and the actual perpetrator of the crime can be brought out into the open for all to see, with hope that I can one day be reunited with my family.
Meanwhile I have been working to find a Final Analysis Forensics Lab (pdf, 3-page letter) that can perform the Touch DNA testing I need done. Experts Jon Nordby Ph.P. and Richard Eikelenboon say they will do the Touch DNA for me for about US$ 10,000. An attorney is needed to represent me in this matter.
A family member of mine is willing to cover the cost to perform the Touch DNA testing if I can come up with an attorney. The Ohio Innocence Project has denied my case. They say that I was eliminated from DNA at trial, and they would not pursue a third party, or the unknown.
Newspaper Articles (pdf, 2 pages))
Arguments Supporting DNA Analysis To Be Conducted (pdf, 10 pages)
State’s Closing Argument (pdf, 21 pages)
Defense’s Closing Argument (pdf, 20 pages)
Agent Mike Kopfer’s Testimony (B.C.I.&I.) (pdf, 55 pages)
Margarete Saupe’s Testimony (B.C.I.&I.) (pdf, 51 pages)
Sheryl Mayhan’s Testimony (B.C.I.&I) (pdf, 14 pages)
Trooper Stolarik’s Written Statement (pdf, 6 pages)
Sgt. Vierstra’s Written Statement (pdf, 2 pages)
Clarence Dean Roberts’ Testimony (pdf, 34 pages)
Motion For Leave To File Motion For New Trial (pdf, 27 pages)
Exhibit A/ newly discovered evidence (pdf, 2 pages)
notarized affidavit of Dillion E. Sargent
Sargent was housed at the same facility like Clarence Roberts’ co-defendants John LaFollette and Chip A. Andrews for ten years. Dillon Sargent provides an affidavit of a conversation that took place in front of him at the chow hall, at Lebanon Prison, between John and Chip back in 1999.
April 14, 2008
Exhibit B (pdf, 3 pages)
Statement of David Black as taken by Detective Ron Pollock of the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Department on May 19th, 1997
Exhibit C (pdf, 2 pages)
Co-Defendant Albert “Chip” Andrews, III Trial Proceedings held on November 4, 1997
Exhibit D (pdf, 1 page)
Statement of David Black taken at crime scene by Captain McCauley of the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office
Exhibit E (pdf, 5 pages)
Statement of Shirley Stillions provided to Detective Pollock on June 3rd, 1997
Exhibit F (pdf, 1 page)
State’s Witness Shirley Stillion’s Trial Testimony
Exhibit G (pdf, 1 page)
Docketing Statement of State v. Andrews, Case No. 97CR000066
Order of Court to Destroy Depositions and Transcripts
On May 30, 2001
Exhibit H (pdf, 1 page)
Trial court’s instructions to jury informing them of co-defendant John LaFollette had been convicted previously to defendant Roberts’ trial
Exhibit I (pdf, 7 pages)
First statement of co-defendant John Lafollette
June 18, 1997
Exhibit J (pdf, 11 pages)
Second statement of co-defendant John Lafollette
June 25, 1997
Exhibit K (pdf,1 page)
Obituary: Edith A. Tingle, Attorney Lewis M. Tingle’s mother
Exhibit L (pdf, 3 pages)
Application to Relieve Estate from Administration
November + December 1996
Exhibit M (pdf, 11 pages)
Complete motion for appointment of expert assistance, and qualification of investigator Don Sonney
Exhibit N (pdf, 2 pages)
Documents reflecting the two performed duties of court appointed defense investigator Don Sonney
August 27, 1997
Exhibit O (pdf, 2 pages)
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Offender Detail Information
Exhibit P (pdf, 1 page)
Date in which Attorney Kent D. Biegler became Assistant Prosecutor of Guernsey County, Ohio
March 9, 1998
Exhibit Q (pdf, 1 page)
Record depicting date defendant Roberts received discovery
Exhibit R (pdf, 2 pages)
Judgment entry of the Guernsey County Common Pleas Court
May 2, 2007
Exhibit S + SS (pdf, 2 pages)
(s) Diagram of Leo R. Sinnett’s residence
(ss) Trial testimony of agent Kopfer authenicating the diagram of the residence of the victim Loe R. Sinnett
Exhibit T (pdf, 2 pages)
Attorney Kent D. Biegler case law showing he was a representator of Guernsey County & the state before defendant Roberts’ trial
Exhibit U (pdf, 2 pages)
Attorney Kent D. Biegler case law showing he continued to be a representative for Guernsey County and the state after defendant Roberts’ petit trial
Exhibit V (pdf, 1 page)
Trial testimony of co-defendant John Lafollette
Exhibit W (pdf, 1 page)
Evidence list which can be tested for DNA
Exhibit X (pdf, 3 pages)
List of evidence which can be tested for DNA
Exhibit Y (pdf, 4 pages)
Find Law Com
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Ohio at Columbus.
No. 00-00409—George C. Smith, District Judge.
Argued: May 8, 2003
Decided and Filed: July 23, 2003
Before: KENNEDY, SILER, and GILMAN, Circuit Judges.
Reading this I believe with my whole heart he is innocent and has served 25 years for a crime he didn’t do and missed so much as,New ones are born. His own kids grew up and the passing of most of his loved ones. And missing out on feeling the love from his friends amd family…. enough is enough. I’ve seen people with more evidence get lesser time. If it was to have happened in the last 15 years. This man wouldn’t be there and or served his time… better technology….. set him free….
I am a criminal justice student and from what I have just learned there is too many holes here. Not from skips side of thing but from law enforcement and the prosecutor. It is 1000% against the law to intimidate anyone for a lesser plea deal , it’s is frowned upon to use your power as an officer of the law to hide or not submit all evidence let alone use friendship to help the outcome of a case. This needs a retrial. Also too it should have shown what the one co-defendant is capable of just having been released for committing the same type of crime.
I barely remember this man Clarence Roberts. I believe him and his wife Oralia lived across the street from me in Quaker City, Ohio. If I remember correctly he seemed pretty cool and trustworthy as well as his wife Oralia. Don’t have any cross words to say about the couple. I believe we got along very well. In fact I believe Oralia became close friends with my mother Paula. After reading this perspective of the case I instantly recall the absence of Clarence Roberts from his home , I never realized what had happened but obviously this is what had went on which resulted in hi is sudden absence. As far as my opinion of what I read is that I strongly believe that Clarence deserves a proper, fair, and thorough trial to set things right, not so much for Clarence but also for Leo Sinnett. Leo deserves to have the actual murderer found guilty with all the evidence investigated to the best of today’s capabilities. With no issue untouched. If the prosecution is confident with their decision and convictions then there should be no problem awarding Clarence Roberts his request for another trial. Just saying.
P.s. oralia I hope you continue your faith in your husband and help him prove his case as doted and loving wife should. If I know you well enough I believe that you are and have never stopped. Good luck to your family. I wish you well. If your still looking for an attorney and needing money ask for donations or post go find me on Facebook. That may help. But I’m sure you doing all that you can.
He needs to have a retrial , to much is wrong with this case.
I have been reading this case for along time.I dont know the John guy but I do know Chip and Skip Roberts.From all my readings and knowing Skip this man is wrongfully convicted.skip needs to have his case heard and also who dont get a chance to have the DNA tested the State should demiss this case.This case is by far the most unheard of that the state of Ohio is dening Skip a fair trial to have the DNA tested.John has been relaesed and has been back to Jail serverl times in Florida and in Guernsey County Ohio again.This John Loffette just wont learn,and knowing Chip and John have always blamed others for there wrongs.Chips sister Mia is just the same and they all blamed Skip.The statements dont add up SO Cmon give Clearnece (Skip) Roberts a fair trial to prove himself.He is having his rights denied and DNA Testing.This is 2016 almost 2017 and the testing for DNA is far in advance today than it was at this time.I personally believe Skip is the Honest guy is this case and the others are blaming Skip for the others to walk Free.Cmon Ohio everyone deserves a second chance and Skip has done what tweenty (20) yrs.Most Murder Cases in Ohio are less than that and Skip needs to have a fair trial.Please Ohio give this man a new trial and or release him to go home to be with his family.John Laffotte and Chip Andrews are the ones behind this crime.The State is with-holding Clearence Roberts his rights to a fair trial to prove his DNA Testing.Thank You,P.S. Skip I am going try to help you all I can.I have to fight for your rights and I know your NOT GUILTY…I Read this so many times and it makes no sence,The State of Ohio is Framing Skip Roberts for a Crime he did not committ,Case Closed send this man home NOW….
He needs all the help he can get, for those guys will never tell the truth on what really happened.
Thank you for your input, Dale .
I am Clarence’s cousin. I have read his case many times and strongly believe that he is innocent. I am no lawyer but there were things that should have been done for him, such as DNA testing. I have had contact with him for 3 years now writing him several times a day, phones calls every Sunday, video visits every Wednesday. I believe he is innocent and I support him 100%.
Annie,would you please let Skip know Im going to talk to some people I know in the Law field.I know Skip from way back and I know he knows me as well.Please let him know that Dale Kerr is behind him 100%.The other guy John has been in and out of Jail.I was shocked to know John Laffotte has been released and not sure with Chip.I will do my best to help him.Thank you.
I did tell Skip what you said, as for Chip he will never tell the truth, he as been in and out of prison.
both Chip and John will rot in hell no doubt. I don’t understand how they live with themselves.
I have had contact with chip, after his release not knowing him well. One particular night he was down and out visiting in a nearby town where I lived He spoke of wanting to rob and elderly person. I pretty much ran in disbelief leaving him stranded. He was fresh out of prison on this case. I never want to see that price of shit again. I don’t judge and I have always gave the benefit of the doubt. Chip Andrews is indeed capable of pre mediated robbery and or murder for such.
Another incident his girlfriend was found dead in they’re apartment with a lot of unanswered questions.
I am Skippy sister please contact me text me at 9738865063
This case needs to be reopened, this does not make any sense at all.
I am a very big supporter if Clarence I believe with all my heart he is innocent. If you read his case you will see for yourself. He needs to be home with his family
This is not justice, This man needs to come home. The trail was unjust. How can no one see that. Let him come home to his family.
This is very obvious and clear this gentleman was falsely accused and robbed of ANY rights he had. No DNA traced to Roberts yet the state didn’t care to trace it to anyone else who may actually be the murderer. Im by far a lawyer but look at the facts ladies and gentlemen. Clarence Skip Roberts I hope that justice is served and you are released to be back with your family.
Yes he was railroaded on this trail there is no doubt about that. If you read his case you will see that it was unfair and not handled the right way. I am no lawyer but even I see that. He needs to come home to his family. Twenty years is a long time to spend in there for something he didn’t do. Justice needs to be served.