According to Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey, Jesse Roberites, 56, was convicted in 2009 of intentionally setting his home ablaze and filing a massive insurance claim for the damage. McCaffrey explained that Roberites served five years in state prison for his alleged crime, then appealed on an extraordinary legal technicality.
McCaffrey explained that at the time that the jury was deliberating at his trial, Roberites had no defense attorney and was representing himself. Trial law states that defense counsel has the right to be present at all proceedings of their case, and during Roberites’ trial, the physical evidence to be used against him was provided in court without him being present.
Roberites appealed his case this year, and was back in the Livingston County Courthouse, with an attorney, on Tuesday.
McCaffrey added that he was not District Attorney at the time of Roberites’ trial.
Roberites’ wife and codefendant, Tonia Roberites, was convicted of filing a false written statement in 2009.
When his sentencing finally goes through, Roberites could be looking at up to 15 years in state prison.
PHOTO CAPTION: Image from Mobile Patrol.