Kimberly Ann Roberts, 47, also facing manslaughter charge in connection to granddaughter’s death

Bond denied for woman accused of murder

By JAMES SWIFT
Posted 9/16/20

Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Watkins rejected a motion to set bond for a woman facing one count of murder in connection with a 5-year-old child’s death in Bartow Superior Court Monday …

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Kimberly Ann Roberts, 47, also facing manslaughter charge in connection to granddaughter’s death

Bond denied for woman accused of murder

Posted
Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Watkins rejected a motion to set bond for a woman facing one count of murder in connection with a 5-year-old child’s death in Bartow Superior Court Monday morning. 

Defendant Kimberly Ann Roberts, 47, has been held in pretrial detention at the Bartow County Jail since May 17. According to Bartow County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) records, she is also facing one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of reckless conduct and one count of receipt, possession or transfer of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

Roberts and co-defendant James Phillip Lillie, 50, were arrested following the shooting death of Roberts’ granddaughter, Ashley Raegan Roberts, at a campground site off Wilderness Camp Road on May 16.

Public defender Chris Paul referred to the incident as a “tragic self-shooting” at a bond hearing for Lillie on June 1.

On Monday morning, Paul told the court Roberts was convicted of driving under the influence in 2012 and a felony possession charge a year later.

BCSO records indicate she later pled guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2018, as well as two misdemeanor counts of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession and use of drug-related objects. 

“She does live in Bartow County,” Paul said. “This is a situation where I think the State is traveling under the theory that Ms. Roberts was negligent in not properly supervising the child, who gained access to a loaded firearm, a pistol, that was present at the campsite.”

Paul alleged that the firearm belonged to the co-defendant in the case. BCSO documents indicate he is facing charges identical to those faced by Roberts — one count of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of reckless conduct and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

“We are asking the court to consider setting a reasonable bond in this case,” Paul said. “This is not a situation where Ms. Roberts is charged with purposefully doing some act that resulted in a child’s death.”

Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Holly Varner said the State was opposed to setting bond for the defendant, citing Roberts' previous convictions for felony firearm possession.

“She died because this defendant could not follow court orders to stay away from firearms,” Varner said. “And now a 5 year old will never get to grow up, because she disobeyed court orders.”

Ultimately, Judge Watkins sided with the prosecution.

“Given the seriousness of the charges, the defendant’s history and possibly the risk of flight, I will deny bond at this time,” he said.