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MAHONING COUNTY Son questions charges in beating case



Published: Thu, October 7, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.



By IAN HILL

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- Vincent Roberts expressed disbelief this morning when he heard the charges he was facing in Mahoning County Court here.

"Attempted murder?" he said in confusion as Judge David D'Apolito read the charges.

"Don't interrupt the judge," a county deputy sheriff ordered.

Roberts, 33, of Kirwan Drive, is accused of beating his mother, Rita Roberts, 66, of the same address, with a dining room chair Monday evening at their home.

He was in court today to hear charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated burglary. No plea was accepted, as the charges are felonies. Roberts' bond was set at $250,000.

Rita Roberts was in critical condition this morning in St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Vincent Roberts told the judge that the attack was in "self defense," and said he didn't understand why he was charged with burglary.

"I was at my house. I don't think it can be burglary," he said.

Reports

Police reports gave this account:

Roberts broke through the locked door of the home and beat his mother with the chair about 8:30 p.m. Monday. He then went to his father's house on Mary Lane, where he told his father that a counseling session he had during the day with his mother had gone badly.

During the session, the counselor told Rita Roberts that she shouldn't be living with her son. When the two returned home, Rita Roberts locked Roberts out.

Roberts then rode his bicycle to the Youngstown State University area to see if he could stay with some friends. When he was unsuccessful, he returned to the Kirwan Drive home and beat his mother.

Roberts later told his father, "I think I hurt my mom," and "she pushed my buttons too far," according to reports. Roberts and his father returned to the Kirwan Drive home, where Roberts was arrested by police.

Police said they found Rita Roberts lying on the floor semi-conscious and bleeding from a large wound on her head. She also had several cuts and bruises on the rest of her body, reports state.

hill@vindy.com




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