Jury hears defendant in homicide trial say he’d do it again

November 12, 2013
At left, Jason Roe enters court on the first day of his trial for the homicide of Cordele Patterson. At right, Lana Roe steps off the elevator prior to entering the courtroom for day one of the trial against her and her husband, Jason, for the death by homicide of Cordele Patterson of Grindstone. - Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

WAYNESBURG – “I would do it again” were the words a Greene County jury heard coming from Jason Roe in a news video recorded Aug. 16, 2012, outside of a West Virginia court. Roe is charged along with his wife, Lana Kay Roe, in the homicide of Cordele Edward Patterson two days earlier at a cabin in Wayne Township.

Roe told a WDTV news anchor Patterson was attacking his wife and that was why he decided to shoot.

“The guy was attacking my wife,” Roe said. “I did what I had to do.”

Roe told the anchor he was arrested in Morgantown, W.Va., while looking for Lana Roe, whom he shot. Jason Roe said he told her to go to the hospital and believed she was in Morgantown.

Other testimony Tuesday established a timeline of the whereabouts of Patterson and the Roes on Aug. 13-14, whether any had gunshot residue on them and their demeanor on those dates.

On the morning of the homicide, neighbors Paula N’Ketia and Yvonne Driver, were in their Daisytown yards around 10 a.m. and from there, they could see both the Roe and Patterson residences. N’Ketia and Driver told the court they saw the Roes removing items from Patterson’s trailer.

N’Ketia said she saw Jason Roe making trips in and out of the trailer with items in bags that he threw into the back of his Jeep. She said she couldn’t hear what he was saying but he was angry and yelling. Driver said she wasn’t watching the whole time, but she saw the Roes leave the area in their Jeep around noon.

Later that evening, several vehicles pulled up to the Roe residence and people were removing items from it in bags, according to Driver. She said it was dark, possibly after midnight, and she could not make out who it was but she called police, who arrived while the people were still there. Driver said she saw them taking the items back out of the vehicles and returning them to the Roe residence.

The day of the shooting, Lana Roe purchased a Mossburg 500 tactical shotgun and four boxes of ammunition from Dry Tavern True Value Hardware Store, according to manager Jeff Blackburn. Blackburn assisted Lana and Jason Roe with the purchase and said Jason Roe told him they recently were burglarized and an AR-15 assault rifle, used for home protection, was taken. He also inquired about what ammo would be a good defense load if needed in the line of defense, Blackburn said.

Blackburn said he recognized Lana Roe as a previous customer and recalled selling her a Glock 9mm handgun. He also recognized Jason Roe as having made purchases there previously.

Midday, they stopped to purchase gasoline on Route 218 outside of Waynesburg. Stephanie Cox, a clerk, said she has known Lana Roe for about 25 years and Jason for three or four years. She said both acted “normal” when they stopped there.

EMS Southwest paramedic Jason Beal said he arrived at the residence Lana Roe fled to after being shot. A Southwest Regional police officer was on the scene.

“She was sitting in a chair with a blood-soaked towel against her face,” Beal said.

He told the court there was blood trickling out of a couple spots on her face and forehead where pellets from the shotgun shell had entered.

“She said her husband had shot her. When I asked her where he was, she pointed up the road,” Beal said. “She said, ‘If he came back he would kill her.’”

At this point the officer left in the direction of where Roe had pointed and Beal radioed to alert the ambulance crew it was safe to arrive on scene, he told the court.

Beal said Roe did not say why her husband shot her or if it was accidental.

“I was trying to keep her calm until the ambulance got there. She said he was standing there with the gun and started shooting (when she came out of the cabin,)” Beal said.

Victor Kiger, who owns the residence at 113 Hoy Run Road where Lana Roe fled to, said he knew who she was but didn’t realize it was her at first when she pulled into his driveway.

“She was yelling. There was blood all over her. I was like, ‘What the hell?,’” he said. “There was blood all over the vehicle and blood all over her.”

Kiger said she seemed excited, scared and was talking rather loud, saying, ‘I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot. My husband shot me.’ Kiger’s wife and granddaughter were in the driveway and he hurried them into the house, fearing for their safety, he said.

Witness Heidi Hoge said between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Jason Roe arrived at the residence she shared with her then-boyfriend Josh Eddy, and asked to use the telephone to call Lana. He told them he, Lana and Patterson were practicing shooting and he shot Lana.

“He called her a few times but did not get an answer. He said something about he shot him but I didn’t know what he was talking about,” Hoge said, noting Roe was very “excited” and “ansty” as he tried to get in touch with his wife. “He said he didn’t know what to do. Josh said to call an ambulance or the police if Lana was hit.”

When asked if Roe called the police or an ambulance Hoge said, “no.”

Testimony resumes at 9 a.m. today.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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