November trial date set for man accused of killing Lexington dermatologist

gkocher1@herald-leader.comJanuary 25, 2013 

Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. on Friday set a Nov. 4 trial for murder defendant Marty Lee Roe, the man accused of killing Lexington dermatologist Dr. Martha Post.

However, before Ishmael rescheduled the trial, the judge made one last attempt to see if it could start on Monday. On Thursday, Ishmael had reluctantly agreed to postpone the trial but he did not set a new date.

The judge had called Friday's hearing to take testimony from a representative of Lexington police or the commonwealth's attorney's office who would have the "most knowledge" about a new witness.

Ishmael learned about the new witness, who is said to have incriminating information about Roe, on Thursday.

The witness is identified in court records as Michael S. Roe, 48, who is a second-cousin to Marty Lee Roe, 66. Michael S. Roe is serving a 20-year sentence for second-degree robbery, according to online records, at Green River Correctional Complex in Muhlenberg County in Western Kentucky. The younger Roe apparently was in the Fayette County Detention Center at the same time as Marty Roe.

The Friday hearing , which lasted about 30 minutes, was called to learn "the timing and circumstances of the expected testimony of the witness just identified as to statements allegedly made by the defendant to this witness," according to Ishmael's order.

But no testimony was heard. Instead, the defense and prosecution spent about 20 minutes conferring with the judge at the bench. Their discussion was shrouded in white noise so that their conversation could not be heard in court.

When the bench conference ended, Ishmael said he was scheduling a new trial date for Nov. 4-14.

No more light was shed on Michael S. Roe's testimony. Public defender Shannon Brooks-English characterized him on Thursday as a "jailhouse snitch" who is only seeking to serve less time.

Ishmael had also continued the trial because of a trace on a .38-caliber revolver that the prosecution says belonged to Roe and which the prosecution identifies as the weapon used to shoot Post. The report, which the prosecution didn't receive until this week, allegedly names a person who sold the gun to Roe.

The report was not in the court file Friday and might be among some records that have been sealed.

Post, 55, was shot on Sept. 1, 2011, as she backed her van out of the parking lot at her medical office. The van then rolled into a car on Huguenard Drive.

After the shooting, Lexington police focused on Marty Roe, a transient whom Post and her husband, Dr. Robert Truitt, had once befriended and invited to their home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Truitt said Roe had been stalking his wife.

Post complained to Lexington police in June 2010 that she had received numerous unwanted telephone calls from Roe, who had done renovation work in the building where she and her husband had offices. According to police records, Post said Roe wanted her to leave her husband and be with him.

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

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