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Man accused in Kanawha teen’s death wants confession to police thrown out

POMEROY, Oh. — Attorneys for an Ohio man charged with killing Cross Lanes teenager Ericka Brown want his videotaped confession suppressed before the upcoming trial.

The body of Ericka Brown, 16, of Cross Lanes, was found along the Ohio River Aug 30, 2014.

Attorneys for Ernest Roach, arguing before a judge Friday in Meigs County, Ohio, requested his statement be removed. Prosecutor Colleen Williams opposed the motion.

Roach, 36, of Racine, Ohio, allegedly murdered Brown, 16, last August. Investigators with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department have said Roach met Brown through a Craigslist ad she posted seeking money for sex.

Roach’s statement was taken by the sheriff’s department, Williams told MetroNews on Friday. The judge gave both sides two weeks to file legal briefs supporting for their positions and an additional week to respond to the filings.

Ernest Roach is charged with murder, compelling prostitution, and gross abuse of a corpse.

Roach’s trial was set for Sept. 21 with pretrial motions scheduled for Sept. 10. Williams said the prosecution continues to prepare the case for trial.

“We meet with witnesses and go over things with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, which has been very helpful with the information we have,” she said.

Brown was last seen by family members on Aug. 9, 2014, the day before prosecutors allege Roach killed her. 

Residents found her body wrapped in a tarp and tied to a concrete block along the Ohio River near Portland, Ohio, on Aug. 30. That’s the same day Roach was detained by police as a person of interest in Brown’s disappearance.

Roach is charged with one count of murder, two counts of compelling prostitution, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of gross abuse of a corpse. He remains in jail on $1 million bail.





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