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Suspect in Parkersburg murder held without bond

Dezaray Roberts spoke to someone following a bond hearing Friday in Wood County Circuit Court. Judge Jason Wharton ordered her held without bond on a first-degree murder charge. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Bond was denied Friday for a Vienna woman accused of arranging a drug transaction that ended with a 26-year-old man shot and killed.

Dezaray Lynn Roberts, 22, 1104 17th St., Vienna, has been in custody at the North Central Regional Jail following her arrest Wednesday on a charge of first-degree murder.

Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure argued before Circuit Court Judge Jason Wharton on Friday that the severity of the crime justified holding Roberts without bond pending a preliminary hearing and presentation of the case to the grand jury.

Roberts allegedly contacted Terrance Mills Jr., 26, of Parkersburg, to arrange a drug purchase, with the intent that two male suspects would rob him and split the money with her, according to a criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court. When Mills arrived, Roberts, who was seated in her vehicle, heard shouting and gunshots, then fled the Covert Street scene with the two males, the complaint says.

Lefebure said Mills died of “a single gunshot wound to the chest area.” He was found lying in a flower bed at 1402 Covert St. and taken to WVU Medicine Camden Clark, where he passed away.

Defense attorney Dustin Schirmer, standing, argued for bond to be set for his client, Dezaray Roberts, right, during a hearing Friday afternoon in Wood County Circuit Court. Roberts was ordered held without bond on a first-degree murder charge. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Roberts’ attorney, Dustin Schirmer, argued his client should be eligible for bond, citing her cooperation with the investigation and ties to the community, including recently getting a new job and having a 3-year-old child to support.

Lefebure said Roberts’ cooperation “does not change the fact that Mr. Mills has been shot and killed.”

Roberts had multiple people in the courtroom for the hearing.

“I love you guys,” she said before being led out by a bailiff.

Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board said detectives continue to pursue leads and search for the male suspects.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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