Johnston Murder Suspect’s Trial Rescheduled to 2018


Abraham Roberts (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The murder trial of a Johnston man accused of killing his girlfriend and attempting to flee the country has been pushed back to 2018.

Thirty-eight-year-old Abraham Roberts is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 34-year-old Agnes Yarlee. Police were called to the Johnston apartment the pair shared with their children on a domestic call on April 15th after neighbors heard fighting and gunshots. When officers arrived they found Yarlee dead.

Roberts was taken into custody after attempting to cross the border into Canada at International Falls, Minnesota.

Online court records filed last week say Roberts’ trial, which was scheduled to begin next week, has now been set for January 8, 2018. The documents also highlight Roberts’ immigration status, making sure he was aware that if found guilty he could be deported. According to local advocacy group, NISAA African Family Services, Roberts and Yarlee were both originally from Liberia.

Though the attorney for Roberts has not yet served notice of his defense, the document says an anticipated defense of diminished capacity is likely. An October 20th deadline was set for Roberts’ attorney to serve notice of his defense.

Roberts is being held in the Polk County Jail on a bond of $2 million.


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