Jury selected for trial in murder of former York mayor

Jury selected for trial in murder of former York mayor

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by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @richardwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 6:40 PM

YORK COUNTY, S.C. -- Julia Phillips wore white on the first day of her murder trial with one very noticeable accessory located on her lower leg: an electronic monitoring device.

Phillips is currently on house arrest.

She is accused of the death of boyfriend Melvin Roberts, a long time lawyer and was also the former York Mayor.

On Monday, some of his family, friends and colleagues came to the Moss Justice Center in York County.

Twelve jurors and three alternates were selected from a qualified pool of 83 York County Residents.

Police found Melvin Roberts lying in his driveway in February of 2010; he had been strangled.

Police said that the 79-year-old was also shot at and hit in the head.

At that time, Phillips told investigators that a black or Hispanic man robbed Roberts outside of his house, and the robber also duct taped her inside the home during the robbery.

Police later said that Phillips story did not add up. They said the duct tape did not appear to have been put on by someone else, and even though Phillips said she never fired a gun, there was gunshot residue on her clothes.

Police said that evidence shows that Roberts was about to end his decade-long relationship with Phillips and take her out of his will. That’s why, police said, she killed him.

"We want to know, like everybody in this (town), what happened. We want answers," said Roberts’ son David.

Police said that someone else may have been involved with Roberts’ murder in addition to Julia Phillips, but have yet to make any additional arrests.

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