TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An attorney has been appointed for a Tyler man accused of aggravated kidnapping.
James Earl Roberts, Jr., 32, of Tyler, has been arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping and bodily injury/sexual abuse in connection with the case.
Thursday, Roberts Jr. appeared in Smith County Judge Jack Skeen’s court for a hearing to determine if he would take the pauper’s oath in order to have council provided for him. Clifton Roberson was appointed as Roberts attorney.
An arrest warrant, obtained Thursday by KLTV, provided more information about the incidents preceding Roberts’ apprehension.
The incident was first reported at 7:34 p.m. March 14 at Rose Rudman Park in the 400 block of Shiloh Road in Tyler, the document states.
A Tyler woman told police she entered the park at the New Copeland Road entrance and had completed her run when she spotted a man, later identified as Roberts Jr., sitting on a bench to her left. She told police the man began following her and then attacked her with a knife and attempted to assault her.
She escaped and later found a shoe in the creek that she thought belonged to the suspect, the arrest warrant states.
The victim found a passerby who called 911.
Officers responded to the scene and began searching for the suspect. The suspect was not located that night.
Judicial records show that two days later Roberts Jr. was taken into custody for public intoxication. He was released on a $500 personal recognizance bond later that day.
Officers continued investigating and found evidence at the scene where the incident occurred that supported the victim’s account. Her cell phone was found in the woods near a creek. Police say found a fingerprint on that phone, which eventually led to Roberts Jr.'s arrest.
According to TPD Public Information Officer Don Martin, Roberts was at his home in Tyler when investigators asked him to come in for questioning about the incident. He agreed and while they were interviewing him, investigators believed they had sufficient cause to obtain a warrant for their arrest, which they did.
An arrest warrant was issued for Roberts Jr.'s arrest on March 20.
He is charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first degree felony. His bond was set at $350,000 by Judge Christi Kennedy.