Neighbors say homicide suspect Lemuel Lee Roberts and his ex-wife, Kaitlin Nichole Roberts, had been fighting in the months leading up to when he was charged with killing her.
Kaitlin Roberts was found dead in the road “with obvious signs of injury” around 2 a.m. Saturday at English Muffin Court and English Muffin Way in Frederick County, Maryland, according to police.
Tina Deneal, the Robertses' neighbor, said she saw the two arguing in front of their home on Oakmont Circle in Winchester, Virginia, 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 (Virginia) 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, Virginia, according to Sheriff Lenny Millholland.
Lemuel Roberts, 31, was later charged with first-degree murder. He was being held without bail at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center pending extradition to Maryland.
Roberts was arrested Saturday morning at his home after it was searched, according to his older sister Charita Roberts. She said when she went to the county sheriff’s office, Kaitlin Roberts' mother told her that Kaitlin was dead.
The Robertses were living together despite divorcing in 2018. They married in August 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, Maryland, 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 were 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 had 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.”