MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) – The second of two men found to have been involved in a brutal 2011 double-homicide was sentenced to life without parole on Tuesday.
Trevin M.A. Sanders Roark was 17 when Robert and Colleen Grube were killed in rural Fort Recovery in November 2011, but the court determined that he would be tried as an adult. In February, Sanders Roark pleaded guilty to six charges: two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of robbery and two counts of aggravated burglary. Despite being tried in adult court, Sanders Roark was not eligible to face the death penalty because he was a minor at the time of the murders.
Family members of Robert and Colleen Grube spoke before the courts and telling Sanders Roark about the two people he killed. Robert’s children and Colleen’s siblings spoke out.
“The fact that their lives were taken on a Tuesday night, might be the hardest thing I have to deal with,” said Adrian Grube, son of Robert and sister of Colleen. “On this particular night, I went to a meeting at the Fort Recovery Town Hall about the development of a baseball association. The night they needed me the most, I was not there for them.”
“One thing I would like to hear from the defendant today, is why Dad and Colleen,” said Robert’s daughter and Colleen’s sister, Angela Allard. “Why did you have to choose that house.”
Sanders Roark had his chance in court to make a statement. He addressed the family in his beginning statement.
“I would like to say, I apologize to the family for what I’ve done, that your life will never be the same,” he said. “I do think about it every day. It’s always on my mind. And I’m sorry that you all have to live with this for the rest of your lives.”
A week before Sanders Roark’s sentencing, Bryant Rhoades was sentenced to life without parole for his role in the double-homicide. Rhoades pleaded guilty to the same six charges Sanders Roark did.
Rhoades used an Alford guilty plea, to avoid getting the death penalty. According to Legalzoom, “[a]n Alford Plea is a guilty plea of a defendant who proclaims he is innocent of the crime, and admits that the prosecution has enough evidence to prove that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
November 2011 killings
On November 30, 2011, Cassandra Grube found her father-in-law Robert, 70 and her sister-in-law, Colleen, 47, bound by duct tape and dead from gunshot wounds when she went to check on them at 9:00 am at their home at 2216 Burrville Road.
Officials determined that Colleen was last seen alive shortly after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Colleen and Robert were found about 16 hours later.
Investigators narrowed the time of the incident to a two hour window.
There was also a laptop computer missing from the scene.
In September of 2012, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department announced it was offering a $20,000 reward, up from an initial $10,000 offer, for information that would lead to a conviction in the case. It’s not known if a tip led police to the suspects or if the arrests were made based on the nearly 200 pieces of evidence they had gathered.
Authorities had previously indicated that they believed two or more people and possibly a man and a woman had committed the crimes.
Sheriff Grey told NewsChannel 15 in March 2013 that the case had never been cold. There were 179 court ordered subpoenas and search warrants, 329 interviews, and 88 tips.
In June 2013, Sanders Roark reportedly admitted to shooting and killing Colleen Grube while high on meth. Officials said Sanders told them he and three others were high on meth and wanted to steal pills, electronics, and jewelry from the Grube’s. He said that he shot Colleen Grube with her father’s long gun and that Rhoades then shot Robert Grube.