Judge refuses to delay trial of suspect in Lexington doctor's death

gkocher1@herald-leader.comJanuary 3, 2013 

Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. found Marty Roe competent Thursday to stand trial for the killing of Lexington dermatologist Dr. Martha Post.

Ishmael also denied a defense motion to delay the trial, which is scheduled to start Jan. 22.

Roe is accused of murder in the death of Post, 55, who was fatally shot Sept. 1, 2011, as she was leaving her practice on Huguenard Drive.

During a 90-minute hearing, a psychiatrist and a psychologist who met with Roe testified that they considered him competent for trial. Roe understands the nature of the charges against him and can rationally participate in his defense, they said.

Dr. Timothy Allen, a psychiatrist at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange, testified in court that Roe "showed no outward signs of mental illness."

Roe and his sister said Roe had been hospitalized seven or eight years ago for what the sister described as a "nervous breakdown." But neither could remember the hospital name, and Allen said he could not confirm where that treatment occurred.

Dr. Martin Smith, the psychologist, testified by telephone from Naples, Fla., that he concurred that Roe is competent to stand trial.

However, Smith acknowledged saying that he wondered whether Roe had suffered a delusional disorder that left him confused about his whereabouts at the time of Post's death.

Allen testified that Roe "didn't profess any delusions that seemed bizarre to me at the time."

Roe "believed specifically that there were people who were trying to frame him for this," Allen said.

Public advocate Shannon Brooks-English sought the trial delay, saying she needed more time to prepare for Roe's defense.

Brooks-English had represented Roe initially after his indictment last year, but Roe then requested and received private lawyers last spring.

Then, in August, Roe asked that public defenders again represent him, and Ishmael agreed.

In the meantime, Brooks-English didn't return to work from maternity leave until Oct. 30. During the interim, public advocate Robert Friedman was appointed to represent Roe.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Cindy Rieker argued against postponing, saying that Post's relatives had made arrangements for a January trial.

Ishmael agreed, saying he didn't see a compelling need for a delay.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service