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Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Suspect will be tried as an adult

More details revealed in Grube murders case

By Margie Wuebker
Trevin Sanders Roark, a 19-year-old Indiana man implicated in the November 2011 deaths of Fort Recovery area residents Robert and Colleen Grube, will be tried as an adult.
Mercer County Juvenile Court Judge Mary Pat Zitter bound the case over to adult court following a show cause hearing Friday morning and set bond at $5 million.
After listening to testimony, Zitter ruled there was probable cause to believe Sanders Roark - labeled an alleged delinquent child for juvenile court purposes - was 17 at the time of the crime.
Mercer County Prosecutor Matt Fox said the case will go before grand jurors. The court docket released Friday indicates the grand jury will convene at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The state called one witness Friday - Detective Sgt. Doug Timmerman, who has headed the investigation since the bodies of the father and daughter were found in their home the morning of Nov. 30.
Timmerman recounted 10 interviews he and fellow detectives had with Sanders Roark between April 30, 2012, and March 13. The initial tip on Sanders Roark came from Union City, Ind., authorities.
"He confirmed the same story each and every time," the detective said. "And each time he made himself more culpable and increased his level of involvement."
Sanders Roark, who was incarcerated at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City on an unrelated matter at the time of the final interview, reportedly identified 22-year-old Bryant Rhoades of Union City and himself as the shooters in the Grube murders.
He had previously told authorities that he, another man he knew and two unnamed people - a male and a female - went to the Burrville Road home with the knowledge that Robert Grube had pills, the detective said.
The quartet allegedly smoked methamphetamine at some point and parked in a nearby driveway before approaching the Grube home under the ruse of having car trouble. Timmerman testified that Sanders Roark said the woman knocked on the door, and the intruders forced their way in when Colleen Grube opened the door.
The unnamed pair reportedly pointed a gun they had brought to the scene at the Grubes and then bound Robert and Colleen with duct tape. According to Timmerman, Sanders Roark said he and Rhoades headed upstairs and ransacked the interior, finding jewelry, a laptop computer, a camera and cash. Rhoades allegedly found a gun in a box under Robert Grube's bed.
Sanders Roark allegedly told Timmerman he took the gun from Rhoades and shot Colleen. He reportedly identified Rhoades as Robert's killer, adding the weapon was removed from the house and later melted down.
During the interviews, authorities learned the quartet had talked about not leaving any witnesses who could identify them. Three of the intruders wore gloves so they didn't leave fingerprints.
The defendant's mother, aunt and a close family friend shared the front row in the small courtroom with Grube family members. Mercer County Sheriff's Detective Megan Baker sat between the groups.
His supporters sobbed throughout the proceeding; the Grube family sat quietly with a son and daughter-in-law holding hands.
Sanders Roark faces 27 counts, including aggravated murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping by virtue of restraining the freedom of the victims, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary and theft. All contain specifications involving the use of a firearm.
He is not eligible for the death penalty since he was a minor at the time of the crime; the maximum sentence is life imprisonment. Each specification carries additional time.
Rhoades remains incarcerated at the Mercer County Detention Center on a $3.5 million bond subject to 10 percent. He has been held since March for obstructing justice, a third-degree felony. The offense, normally a misdemeanor, has felony status because of its connection to murder.
The charge stems from a June 2012 interview local detectives had with Rhoades and his statements about meeting a woman the night of Nov. 29, 2011, and taking her home. He reportedly took investigators to her trailer at the Broadway Mobile Home Court in Fort Recovery. An investigation determined a man had lived there for decades and had no connection with the Grubes.
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