A Northumberland County grand jury indicted Jason Roberts on a charge of premediated first degree murder, last Tuesday.
Roberts is charged with the September 21, 2019 stabbing of Amber Odell, with whom he had been living on Gravel Pit Road just outside Callao for several months. Officers responding to an emergency call found Roberts in the front yard of the house suffering from a knife wound to his throat. Inside the house they found Odell’s body. Odell had “suffered multiple stab wounds” Deputy Allen Garland said.
Roberts was hospitalized for treatment and then charged with murder on September 24. Following certification of the charge at a preliminary hearing, the case went to the grand jury which handed down the indictment last Tuesday.
When the “true bill” of indictment was returned, Roberts, represented by Heathsville attorney Rusty McKerns opted for a trial without a jury. Earlier Roberts’ competency to stand trial had been examined and the report is not public. Regardless, Roberts must have appeared competent before Judge Michael McKenney who questioned him directly to see if he understood what waiving a jury trial meant.
Although no motions have yet been filed in the case, McKenney set March 10 for any that may be filed for hearing. He set the trial date as May 5.