Crime

Roe sentenced to life in prison for killing Lexington dermatologist

A judge sentenced Marty Roe on Thursday to life in prison for the 2011 murder of Lexington dermatologist Dr. Martha Post.

In doing so, Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. followed the recommendation of the jury that convicted Roe in August.

The sentencing hearing began with Ishmael learning that Roe had refused to cooperate with a probation and parole officer who wanted to do a pre-sentence investigation as required by law. Roe also refused to provide the officer with a DNA sample by submitting to a cheek swab of his mouth, as required by law.

Roe said the officer would not identify himself or explain why a DNA sample was needed when Roe had already provided a sample before trial. But in talking with the defendant, Ishmael secured a promise that Roe will cooperate in a subsequent meeting with the probation and parole officer.

"Just humor me, Mr. Roe," Ishmael said.

On Sept. 1, 2011, Post, 55, was shot in the neck, chest and left thigh as she backed her van out of the parking lot of her office on Huguenard Drive.

Roe, 67, is a former homeless man whom Post hired as a maintenance man for the building where she and her husband worked. Roe had been invited to holiday dinners with the Post family. Testimony at trial indicated that Roe was dismissed from the handyman's job because of his drinking.

The prosecution portrayed Roe as a man so obsessed with Post that he shot her when she did not reciprocate his affections or return numerous calls and texts.

DNA that matched Roe's was found on the trigger and hand grips of the semiautomatic pistol that was used to shoot Post, a forensic biologist testified during the trial.

Ishmael said Post "was certainly a gifted, compassionate and wonderful physician" and added that "she seemed to be the rock of the whole family."

"I know her memory will not be forgotten," Ishmael said.

Ishmael also said, "I think the jury based their verdict on the evidence, and the evidence was overwhelming" that Roe was guilty.

Robert Friedman, one of Roe's defense attorneys, said an appeal will be filed within 30 days of the sentencing's entry into the record.

Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson said later that he was "pleased that this yo-yo has been sentenced to the penitentiary. He's earned it. One of the fine people in our community, Martha Post, lost her life because she was trying to be kind."

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