Plea deal off in Grube murder case
Thursday, July 17, 2014 12:00 AM
CELINA — Prosecutors in Mercer County were hoping that the cases against two men charged in the murders of Robert and Colleen Grube would be nearly wrapped up this week. Trevin Sanders-Roark, who had pleaded guilty in February to two counts of aggravated murder was due to be sentenced on Thursday, and the other man, Bryant Rhoades was considering a plea deal with a hearing scheduled on Tuesday.
However on Tuesday, Rhoades pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing justice, in connection with false statements he made to investigators, but the plea deal on the murder charges fell apart after negotiations failed between the prosecution and the defense.
Reportedly Rhoades made an alford plea of guilty, which means he did not admit guilt, but agreed that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him. He then waived his right to jury and asked to have his case decided by a three-judge panel, Rhoades would then plead guilty to two counts of aggravated murder before the panel and in return, the State agreed not to seek the death penalty. That deal disintegrated when the two sides could not agree while putting together a statement of the facts.
Rhoades did plead to obstructing justice and was sentenced to 36 months in prison, minus credit for 476 days already served in custody. Had the deal with Rhoades been completed Tuesday, Sanders-Roark’s sentencing on the two aggravated murder charges was supposed to occur on Thursday. That sentencing has been delayed until a later date, although an attorney’s conference in the case is scheduled for Thursday.
Authorities believe Sanders-Roark was the one who bound and shot the two victims at the farm house outside of Fort Recovery in November 2011. A laptop computer and a gun were also reported missing from the Grube residence. Investigator say that two or more people bound and killed 70-year-old Robert Grube, and his 47-year-old daughter, Colleen. The killers were either let into the house or came in through an unlocked door.
Rhoades’ case will go before a jury at a later date.