Jury finds Lana Roe guilty of first-degree murder

March 28, 2014
Lana Roe

WAYNESBURG – Lana Kay Roe, 41, formerly of Carmichaels, will spend the rest of her life in prison after being found guilty Friday of first-degree murder in the Aug. 14, 2012, shooting death of Cordele Edward Patterson, 38, of Daisytown.

In a November jury trial, Roe’s husband, Jason William Roe, 35, also was found guilty of first-degree murder. At that time, the jury could not reach a verdict on charges against Lana Roe, and a mistrial was declared.

With first-degree murder convictions, both Roes will not be eligible for parole. Lana Roe will serve her sentence at SCI-Muncy, a women’s prison in Lycoming County.

It took the jury in Greene County Judge William Nalitz’s courtroom roughly 7 hours over two days to convict Roe for her role in the murder that took place in a hunting cabin on Strawn Hill Road in Wayne Township.

Patterson’s mother, Vivian O’Neal Russ, who stood as the verdict was read, smiled, cried and hugged Greene County victim witness coordinator Cherie Rumskey Henry. Other family members wept.

“I wish you could have met Cordele,” Russ told a reporter. “I know you would have liked him. He just had the best laugh.”

As Roe learned her fate, she did not visibly react. Her sister, daughter and ex-husband, seated in the first rows of the gallery, gasped.

Greene County Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers wiped her tears and reflected on the victim’s family: “I’ve really come to like them a lot. They are really good people. I only wish I could have met them under different circumstances. May Cordele now rest in peace.”

William Patterson, Cordele’s father, thanked state police lead investigator Cpl. Jeremy Barni, Chambers and all who worked on the case.

“You guys are truly my heroes. You really are,” Patterson said.

Roe’s defense attorney Michael Bigley said they respected the verdict.

“She (Lana Roe) chose to take it to trial knowing the possibility of a guilty verdict,” Bigley said. “Obviously, we’re disappointed in the outcome. We will file post-sentence motions preserving issues raised at trial.”

In another matter, Nalitz sentenced Roe on the guilty verdicts rendered for charges of falsely reporting weapons as stolen and falsely accusing another, Patterson, of stealing them.

For those charges, she received a sentence of not less than one year to two years in prison with credit for time served, a moot point considering the murder conviction.

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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