Testimony concluded in Roe homicide retrial

Closing arguments to be given today

March 26, 2014

WAYNESBURG – Lana Kay Roe broke down on the witness stand Wednesday during her homicide trial while denying she knew her husband intended to kill 38-year-old Cordele Edward Patterson.

Greene County Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers asked Roe, 41, of Daisytown, if she knew her husband, Jason Roe, 35, was going to shoot or kill Patterson Aug. 14, 2012. “No, I did not,” she replied.

When asked if she intended to shoot him herself, Roe said crying, “No, I’d never hurt Cordele, ever,” she said.

Roe is being retried after a jury could not reach a verdict during a November trial. Jason Roe was found guilty of first-degree murder at that trial for killing Patterson in a hunting cabin along Strawn Hill Road, near Spraggs, and is serving a life sentence.

On Aug. 4, 2012, Lana Roe filed a protection-from-abuse order against Jason Roe after he held a gun to her head. She dropped it days before Patterson’s death.

“Jason showed no indication whatsoever (the day of the shooting) what he was going to do. There was no indication,” Roe said, crying. “He was fine, happy, acting like himself. He was glad we were back together.”

Chambers asked Roe if she heard Jason Roe say he wanted to kill Patterson for allegedly stealing from their residence. She told Chambers that was just the way Jason talked and she didn’t take him seriously.

“You took it seriously when he put the AR-15 to your head,” Chambers said, referring to the PFA. “You were afraid of him.”

Roe said, “I was stupid, I know.”

Multiple versions of statements given by Lana Roe were presented in court Wednesday starting with one she gave police while being treated at Ruby Memorial Hospital for gunshot wounds to her face that she received from a shotgun blast fired by her husband during the shooting. A pellet was surgically removed from the left side of her face and Roe told the court she still has three remaining pellets in her forehead, cheek and chin area.

When questioned by Chambers and her defense attorney, Michael Bigley, about discrepancies in various statements regarding the events at the cabin, Roe repeatedly said was traumatized and wasn’t thinking clearly.

“I was having nightmares. My husband had just shot me and killed one of our good friends. I was scared. Mainly, I was afraid of Jason,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what was going on or why it even happened.”

Bigley asked Roe if she had a romantic relationship or had sex with Patterson, which she denied.

When questioned by Chambers as to why she did not pull out the Glock handgun in her waistband and defend herself from her husband the day of the shooting, Roe said, “I couldn’t shoot my husband.”

Roe told Chambers she was “bleeding pretty badly” from the head and could see Patterson running and her husband chasing him out of the corner of her eye. She said she heard additional gunfire and didn’t know if she was being shot at so she fled. In the process, Roe said she discharged her Glock in the direction of the cabin twice. Four discharged shells from the Glock were found at the scene. She could not explain that.

Chambers asked why 10 days after Patterson’s murder Roe gave conflicting accounts while being questioned at the state police barracks in Waynesburg. Roe said she is still be suffering from nightmares.

She maintains she did not know Patterson was at the hunting cabin until she and her husband arrived at the property and Jason Roe told her to go to the cabin and wake him.

When Chambers asked her what she thought Patterson was doing there, Roe said she thought they were going to target shoot with the Mossburg shotgun purchased that morning at the Dry Tavern Service True Value hardware store.

Testimony was completed Wednesday and closing arguments in the case will be heard beginning 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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