Jurors in Greene County today convicted a Washington County woman of first-degree murder for having aided her husband in a slaying at a remote hunting cabin.
Jurors agreed with prosecutors who said Lana Roe, 41, of Daisytown, acted as an accomplice for her 33-year-old husband, Jason, in the August 2012 shotgun slaying of Cordele Patterson, 38, of Grindstone.
The jurors, who deliberated for about six hours Thursday in the case, reached their verdict this morning. Another jury last fall convicted Jason Roe of first-degree murder but was unable to reach a verdict on the charges against his wife.
Authorities said Lana Roe lured Mr. Patterson outside the cabin before he was shot by her husband, who also wounded her. Roe testified that although she knew her husband was unhappy with Mr. Patterson, she had no idea what he was going to do.
In closing arguments Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Linda Chambers showed photos of the victim and tried to cast doubt on the defendant’s story.
“If she knew what Jason was going to do and she helped him do it, she’s just as guilty as he is,” Ms. Chambers said.
Defense attorney Michael Bigley said all that jurors needed to decide was whether his client knew her husband’s plans when she went with him to the cabin.
“If you find that she did not know, she’s not guilty of homicide,” Mr. Bigley said.
He said the jurors also had to decide whether she intended to make false statements in giving differing accounts to authorities, or whether she was in shock from having been wounded.
“Any inconsistencies and discrepancies in her story are because she was shot in the face,” Mr. Bigley said.
Ms. Chambers said the defendant said she was afraid of her husband, but she was only afraid she was going to implicate herself as an accomplice.
“She wants you to think she’s a victim,” said Ms. Chambers. “The only victims are Cordele’s family, not Lana Roe.”
Jurors asked to see a videotape of the defendant walking investigators through the scene the day after the shooting. The panel then asked why a taped interview with her was not entered into evidence.