Jurors hear series of phone messages accused killer left for victim

gkocher1@herald-leader.comAugust 8, 2013 

Jurors in Marty Roe's murder trial on Thursday heard more voice messages that Roe left for Dr. Martha Post, the Lexington dermatologist he is accused of killing.

Lexington police detective Bill Brislin, the lead investigator in the case, played the messages, which remain on Post's iPhone. The messages were left in the weeks before Post was attacked.

In one message from Aug. 9, 2011, Roe asked: "Do you love me? That's all. Do you love me? Because I love you. I just want to know if you love me."

On Aug. 12, 2011, while Roe was in Ohio, he left a message that said: "If you don't come up, I'm coming down there (to Lexington)." A text message read, "Get your pretty butt up here to Centerville (Ohio) ... I want to see you."

In a voice message that he left on Aug. 15, 2011, Roe said: "Never ask me to never call you again, because that's not going to happen."

Post was shot Sept. 1, 2011, as she backed her van out of the parking lot of her office on Huguenard Drive.

The prosecution has said that Roe, 67, was obsessed with Post, and that when she didn't reciprocate his affections, Roe shot her three times.

Defense lawyers have asked the jury to consider that her husband, Dr. Robert Truitt, had the most to gain from Post's death. He was Post's designated beneficiary to $1.5 million in life insurance. Truitt testified Wednesday that he had nothing to do with his wife's death.

On Thursday, during the cross-examination of Lexington Police Detective Reid Bowles, defense co-counsel Robert Friedman asked: "At any time, did you consider him (Dr. Truitt) a possible suspect?"

"Absolutely," Bowles said.

However, Bowles testified later that Truitt was excluded as a suspect in October 2011, the month after the shooting, when police received records for Truitt's and Post's cellphones.

Those records indicated that Truitt's cellphone had not pinged onto a cell tower nearest Post's office at the time of the shooting, but that it had pinged on a cell tower closest to the Hartland subdivision in south Lexington where Post and Truitt lived.

Truitt had earlier told police and had testified at trial that he left his office on Sept. 1 and went home. After feeding their dogs, Truitt discovered that he was locked out of the house. Truitt texted his wife that he was locked out, and she answered his text saying that she was on her way home.

A neighbor also testified this week that she had seen Truitt in his yard with a cellphone at the time he was locked out.

The jury also heard testimony Thursday from Roe's two daughters and son-in-law, who all live in Paris.

Kim Roe, who works at Hardee's in Paris, said her father came into the restaurant on Aug. 29 and 30, 2011, and that she saw him driving on Main Street past the restaurant on Sept. 1, the day of the shooting.

Kim Roe said she was surprised to see her father on Aug. 29 because "I hadn't seen him for the last 20 years." Although she saw him in the dining room, she testified that she did not go out to speak to him that day.

The next day, Aug. 30, she did speak to him. Kim Roe said her father wanted to know where another daughter, Kathy Rawlins, lived.

The next day, Aug. 31, Marty Roe went to see Rawlins. "He told me he was leaving town and wasn't coming back," Rawlins said. "He told me he was going to Australia."

Marty Roe said he wanted to put a recreational vehicle in Rawlins' name, but she "told him I did not want it."

Rawlins' husband, Bennie Rawlins, also testified that Marty Roe "told me he was going to Australia."

The jury also heard from a former employee and a current employee of the The Ketch Seafood Grill on Regency Road in Lexington. Meredith Myers, now a Lexington police officer, and Debbie Elswick, the current employee, both testified that they saw and served Marty Roe drinks at the restaurant's bar on the afternoon of Sept. 1, the day of the shooting. The restaurant is less than a mile from Dr. Post's office.

Marty Roe had told detectives that he wasn't in Lexington at the time of the shooting.

If convicted of murder, Roe could face 20 years to life in prison. He also is charged with tampering with evidence and harassing communications.

No testimony will be heard Friday. The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Monday. The prosecution is expected to finish presenting its evidence on Monday, and then the defense will present its evidence.

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

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