BY MYSTI GATES –
Eleven years following his confession and conviction, the defense team of Karl D. Roberts continues seeking an appeal after Roberts waived his rights to such. On November 3, 2011 the Polk County Circuit Court heard oral arguments in the case of Roberts v. the State of Arkansas.
In a case that outraged the entire county and captured state-wide attention, Roberts was convicted in May of 2000 for the 1999 rape and murder of his 12-year-old niece, Andria Brewer, better known to her friends and family as “Andi.” Roberts was sentenced to the death penalty and just hours before he was scheduled for execution in 2003, Roberts decided he wanted to seek an appeal and received a “stay of execution.” He has remained on death row for the last eleven years…almost as long as the tender young age of his victim.
The arguments heard on November 3rd ended without a decision. Roberts’ attorney, Josh Lee, argued that “Roberts was denied his Constitutional right to have his claim heard.” The state’s position was that Roberts previously waived his right to appeal and equates that waiver with a first petition. The state’s attorney, Elizabeth Shoe, stated that “Roberts knowingly and competently waived his right to appeal and that the Circuit Court affirmed that in 2003.” To retract such a waiver, an appellant must file in a timely manner, and it is the state’s opinion that Roberts failed to do so.
Each side presented its argument, having only 20 minutes to make their case. The court adjourned and asked that the parties involved meet back on November 10th for a decision. No decision has been reached at this time. Interested parties may view previous footage and upcoming live streaming at https://courts.arkansas.gov/.