A Eubank man accused of murder has agreed to participate in a mediation with the prosecution which, if successful, may head off a trial in the case.
Jesse Ray Roberts, 35, is accused of striking 49-year-old David Naylor with a pipe and killing him at Naylor’s shed on July 17, 2021.
He is charged with Murder, first-degree Burglary, Tampering with Physical Evidence, being a Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine).
The mediation is scheduled for June 7.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Teresa Whitaker told Roberts and attorneys for both sides that should the mediation be successful, she would be available to hear the results of it on that day.
If not successful, however, Whitaker said she will schedule the case for another court date.
Roberts was taken into custody on July 29, 2021 after an investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.
A preliminary investigation tied the July 17 homicide to an attempted robbery call that PCSO had responded to earlier that morning.
At that time, Roberts alleged that Naylor kept showing up at his junkyard just down the road from Naylor’s shed. Roberts told investigators that when he took Naylor home, Naylor came out of his shed with a shotgun and threatened to rob Roberts at which point Roberts struck Naylor with a pipe. Roberts’ version of events, according to testimony at a probable cause hearing, was initially corroborated by his sister’s boyfriend, Ryan Davis.
However, investigators were troubled by the story — mainly because no shotgun was found near Naylor’s body. Plus video footage secured from a home between Naylor’s shed and Roberts’ junkyard showed a vehicle — which turned out to be Roberts’ truck — making several trips back and forth over some 90 minutes in the early morning hours of July 17.
Read the complete article here.
"This article is an edited version of one originally published in ACResolution Magazine, Spring, 2004"Stripped of all the lofty purposes and noble intentions in which we seek to enwrap ourselves...By Robert Benjamin