For more than an hour and a half Roberts fielded questions from her attorney, Jerry Blevins in regard to her approaching Rome, Georgia based attorney Steve Lanier seeking assistance with her capital murder case in Alabama, and an incident involving her arrest in Georgia on an unrelated matter.
Roberts essentially claims that Lanier’s contract with her carried a non-refundable retainer fee clause which is non-enforceable in Georgia and in Alabama; she further contends that in her mind, she would be represented in her Alabama case by Lanier however she later found out that was not licensed to practice in the state, and as a result, she was put in contact with Rodney Stallings.
She stated she fully expected Lanier to be there during her first hearing in Cherokee County but instead, she was introduced to Stallings.
Roberts said she felt the $50,000 retainer fee was undeserved, and on top of that, she paid a $35,000 fee to Stallings.
There were also issues regarding what Roberts considered to be misappropriation of funds over and above the $50,000 she had already agreed to pay Lanier.
At around 11:00am Lanier’s attorney, Roy McCord began an intense cross examination that seemed to leave Roberts at times confused and frustrated.
McCord contends that even after Roberts said she fired Lanier she still made use of services performed by him, in regard to her prior arrest in Georgia, and with handling legal needs in connection with an inheritance she received following the death of her mother in Texas and she readily admitted that was indeed, the case. The cross examination on each side worked through a maze of alleged misrepresentations and/or possible misunderstandings debating everything from who was hired and what services should have been rendered to how much they were paid and how much they were supposed to be paid, and so on.
Toward the end of the morning testimony, McCord asked Roberts if she was calling Lanier a liar, which she replied “That’s not all I’d call him.”; McCord asked again “Are you calling Mr. Lanier a Liar?”, to which Roberts replied “Yes.”…at that point McCord stated “What’s worse, a liar or a murderer?”, followed by “No more questions.” and that’s where the session came to an end.
Roberts was convicted in August 2008 for the 2006 murder of her ex-husband’s new wife – Martha Darlene Roberts; she is currently serving life without parole in connection with the slaying. Barbara Ann Roberts and Dr. Robert John Scheiss III were accused of binding and gagging the victim, after she was tricked into stopping for Scheiss – who pretended that his car had broken down on County Road 941.
After Darlene Roberts managed to free herself and ran across a nearby field, Scheiss chased her by car, while Barbara Ann Roberts – armed with a 12 gauge shotgun – went after her on foot. Darlene Roberts was reportedly killed by three shotgun blasts to the upper body.
Barbara Ann Roberts was convicted of firing the fatal shots – and was later sentenced to life without parole. Prior to going to trial Scheiss struck a plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office whereby he received a three year sentence for kidnapping; at that point, he had been in custody for more than two years and within months he was released.
Scheiss later took his own life while residing with his mother in Missouri; he had worked as a neurosurgeon in Conyers, Georgia prior to becoming involved in the Roberts case.