'Legally dead' kidnapping case set for 2014 trial - New York News

'Legally dead' kidnapping case set for 2014 trial

Posted: Updated:
Thomas Steven Sanders Thomas Steven Sanders

By HOLBROOK MOHR
Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Louisiana judge has scheduled an August 2014 trial for a Mississippi man who disappeared and was declared dead, only to resurface years later as a suspect in the slayings of his girlfriend and her daughter.

Thomas Steven Sanders' trial had been scheduled to begin this month in Alexandria, La., where he's charged in 12-year-old Lexis Roberts' kidnapping death. Hunters found her body in Catahoula Parish, La., in 2010.

The girl and her mother were from Las Vegas. Suellen Roberts' body was found in Arizona.

Sanders was arrested in Gulfport, Miss.

In June, U.S. District Judge Dee Drell in Alexandria said public defenders couldn't afford the death-penalty trial because of automatic spending cuts called sequestration.

The defense asked to delay the trial to spread out costs over two fiscal years.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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