Family Continues Seeking ‘Justice for Andi’
BY LEANN DILBECK –
Last week, the Arkansas Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Karl Douglas Roberts. In a case that outraged the entire county and captured state-wide attention, Roberts confessed and was convicted and sentenced to die in May 2000 for the 1999 killing of his 12-year old niece Andria “Andi” Brewer in Polk County Circuit Court.
Roberts signed a waiver of his right to pursue appeal in June 2000 and was sentenced for execution in 2003. However, just hours before that scheduled execution, Roberts chose to seek an appeal. Roberts’ attorney, Josh Lee, argued both to the Polk County Circuit Court November 3, 2011 and now to the Arkansas Supreme Court that “Roberts was denied his constitutional right to have his claim heard.”
As with all death-penalty cases, the Supreme Court reviewed the case and despite the waiver, upheld the conviction and sentence.
On Thursday, December 1, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Roberts of a Polk County Circuit Judge’s ruling that Roberts was not entitled to a hearing on whether he received effective counsel from his attorney.
In that same decision, the judge ruled that Roberts’ petition for a hearing was not “filed in a timely manner,” and also referred to Roberts’ signed waiver to releasing his rights to an appeal or “post-conviction relief.”
The Arkansas Supreme Court also affirmed the judge’s decision and ruled that Roberts must file a motion to “re-open post conviction relief” before he could argue the effectiveness, or lack of, his attorney. The court issued its decision without prejudice, enabling Roberts to file it again later in the process.
Andi’s mother, Rebecca DeMauro commented on Roberts’ recent attempt to appeal the sentencing for the crime he confessed to, “Whether or not he wins or loses, continues to appeal or not, it is just another way to re-victimize the family.”