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Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Attorney change may delay Grube murder suspect's case

By Margie Wuebker
Trevin Sanders-Roark, one of two men charged in connection with the November 2011 murders of a Fort Recovery-area man and his daughter, wants a new attorney.
Differences between the 19-year-old Union City man and his court-appointed attorney, Jose M. Lopez of Troy, led the lawyer on Thursday to file a motion seeking to withdraw from the case.
"I am concerned about running against the rules of professional conduct," Lopez said during a brief motion hearing Tuesday in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
The hearing was preceded by lengthy discussion in Judge Jeffrey Ingraham's chambers with county prosecutor Matt Fox present.
Lopez, who declined to reveal the nature of the differences, said in open court that Sanders-Roark preferred he withdraw from the case.
Ingraham asked the defendant if this indeed was his wish.
Sanders-Roark smiled before responding, "Yes, your honor."
The judge granted the motion and indicated he would name a replacement for Lopez and his co-counsel and son, Jay M. Lopez, by week's end.
No additional court dates were set, which could result in a delay as new attorney or attorneys get familiar with the case.
Sanders-Roark waived his right to a speedy trial on July 2 - the same day he pleaded not guilty to 27 counts of aggravated murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping by virtue of restraining the victims, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, theft and burglary.
The defendant, who was 17 at the time he allegedly committed the offenses, initially appeared in Mercer County Juvenile Court and judge Mary Pat Zitter ruled he should be tried as an adult.
Sanders-Roark remains incarcerated at the Mercer County Detention Center on a $5 million cash bond.
The death penalty is not an option in the case since he would have been a juvenile at the time of the crime.
Co-defendant Bryant L. Rhoades, 22, also of Union City, was indicted on 27 similar counts for his alleged part in the double-homicide. The aggravated murder charges filed against him carry death penalty specifications. He also faces a related charge of obstructing justice in an earlier case.
Rhoades, who is also incarcerated on a $5 million bond, will appear in court Dec. 18 for an evidentiary hearing on a motion to suppress statements he made to detectives during the investigation. Ingraham also reserved Dec. 19 on his court calendar in case testimony lasts longer than expected.
Fox and Rhoades' defense attorneys, William Kluge and Bob Grzybowski of Lima, will conduct a telephone conference Dec. 3 to confirm the court dates.
Sanders-Roark and Rhoades are accused of killing Robert and Colleen Grube Nov. 29 or 30, 2011, at their Burrville Road home near Fort Recovery. The pair allegedly were accompanied by at least two accomplices who went to the home to steal suspected prescription medication and other items.
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