Neighbors say homicide suspect Lemuel Lee Roberts and his ex-wife Kaitlin Nichole Roberts had been fighting in the months leading up to him being charged with killing her.
Kaitlin Roberts was found lying dead in the road “with obvious signs of injury” at the intersection of English Muffin Court and English Muffin Way in Frederick, Md., around 2 a.m. Saturday, according to police.
Her neighbor, Tina Deneal, said she saw the two arguing in front of their Oakmont Circle home in Frederick County about a week earlier.
“She was yelling and screaming in the front yard and he was trying to get in his car and leave,” Deneal said. “Then, before I knew it, there were two Frederick County police officers here.”
At 3:32 a.m. Saturday, an empty vehicle believed to be the getaway car in the killing was found on fire on Red Bud Road in Frederick County, according to Sheriff Lenny Millholland.
Lemuel Roberts, 31, was later charged with first-degree murder. He was being held without bond on Monday night at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center on Fort Collier Road pending extradition to Maryland.
Roberts was arrested at his home Saturday morning after it was searched, according to his older sister Charita Roberts. She said when she went to the county Sheriff’s Office, the mother of Kaitlin Roberts told her that Kaitlin was dead.
The Robertses were living together despite divorcing in 2018. They married in August of 2017, separated three months later and had a 3½-year-old daughter and 2½-year-old son together, according to their divorce papers. The Robertses also each have a son from previous relationships, according to Charita Roberts.
Roberts said Kaitlin Roberts, 31, was originally from the Frederick, Md., area and worked as a server at the Olive Garden in Winchester. Lemuel Roberts did auto repair and also sold cars on his own. She said the couple was in good spirits when she visited them on Thursday and that Kaitlin Roberts had been driving Lemuel Roberts’ Buick Enclave SUV recently because her car was in for repairs.
Although her brother had a history of domestic violence, his behavior improved through couples counseling, Charita Roberts said.
“Everyone around him could see a huge change in his demeanor,” she said. “He was just real calm. Even in the way he handled her and the kids. I can’t believe this.”
Roberts said her brother and Kaitlin Roberts had been in a relationship since about 2015 and that Kaitlin Roberts was like a sister to her. She said she was a good mother.
Roberts said she was shocked by the killing. She said she was close to Kaitlin Roberts and her family. “You don’t want to believe it. It’s just hard.”
The three children who were living at the home with the Robertses are now staying with Charita Roberts’ mother.
Deneal said she last saw Kaitlin Roberts on Thursday when Roberts picked up her two sons at the school bus stop. She said Roberts was in good spirits, and the two talked about Roberts’ sons visiting Deneal’s home for a birthday party for Deneal’s grandson. Deneal said she was told that the Robertses were living together despite being divorced to co-parent their children.
“It’s very sad,” Deneal said. “My heart goes out to the babies and to her family and his family.”
Another neighbor said police were called to the Roberts home between five and 10 times for domestic disputes since late October. The neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, said Kaitlin Roberts sometimes pounded on the doors of neighboring houses and screamed for help as Lemuel Roberts followed her.
“He’d always block her, so you really couldn’t help her,” according to the neighbor, who said she called police when the incidents happened. “She was banging on the door and running down the street yelling, ‘Help me! Help me! Somebody please help me!’”
Despite the reports of fighting, Lemuel Roberts has no pending domestic violence charges in Frederick/Winchester Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and there are no records of Kaitlin Roberts taking out a Temporary Protection Order against Lemuel Roberts. Millholland said Monday night he didn’t have information on previous calls to the home available.
Lemuel Roberts’ criminal record includes convictions for assault and battery and abduction in 2011. The conviction was for a 2010 incident, according to court records. Roberts rammed a woman’s vehicle with his vehicle, then pulled her out of the vehicle and kidnapped her. He beat the woman, with whom he had previously lived, then took her to the Red Roof Inn.
Roberts was sentenced to 2½ years imprisonment, with two years of the sentence suspended. In 2012, while out on probation, he was charged with drunken driving in Winchester. Police said he fought with them when they tried to arrest him and they had to shock him twice with a Taser to get him handcuffed.
While jailed in 2013, Roberts completed anger management and addiction recovery courses. However, on June 13, police said an informant for the Northwestern Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force bought 14 grams of cocaine from Roberts, leading to police raiding his Oakmont Circle home. They said they seized marijuana, hashish oil and $15,000 in cash.
In July, the Frederick County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office filed a motion to seize $14,500 of the money seized from Lemuel Roberts during the raid. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 8.