Ohio man arraigned in Bethel woman’s murder
BRIDGEPORT -Brandon Roberts, a joker tattoo on the left side of his neck, stood before a judge Monday morning to faced charges in the murder of a young Bethel woman he met online.
“These are very serious allegations,” said Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Dunn as the 26-year-old Roberts stood staring at the courtroom floor.
Superior Court Judge Eugene Calistro Jr. agreed and ordered Roberts held in lieu of $2 million bond.
“There is a risk of flight and I find he has no ties to the community,” the judge added.
He continued the case to Jan. 15 and, at the urging of Assistant Public Defender Joanna Carloni, ordered Roberts to undergo mental health evaluation and treatment.
A 2002 graduate of Ansonia High School, Roberts grew up in Ansonia and Bridgeport and still has family in the area, Carloni told the judge.
Roberts, who was captured at his father’s home in Ohio, is charged with murder, felony murder, first-degree robbery, using a firearm in the commission of a felony and carrying a pistol without a permit.
Roberts is accused of shooting 25-year-old Emily Todd in the back of the head near the boat ramp on Seaview Avenue in Bridgeport. Police said Roberts confessed to killing Todd and to shooting another woman in Washington Park in 2017.
Several members of Todd’s family were in the courtroom Monday, but they declined comment.
Todd a therapist at a Danbury senior center, was found lying face down in the sand along the shore in the morning of Dec. 9.
Police said Todd was fully dressed and appeared to be wearing a long, blond wig. She had been shot in the back of the head and a single spent bullet shell casing was found near her feet.
Police said Todd’s mother later told detectives that her daughter had met Roberts, who was staying with relatives at a Stratford hotel, on an online dating app.
After several dates, police said Todd called off the relationship. But they said Roberts convinced Todd to meet him one more time, luring her to the area of the boat ramp.
After killing her, Roberts took Todd’s car, cell phone and credit cards.
Video surveillance later showed Roberts driving Todd’s car into the drive through at the People’s United Bank in Trumbull where he used Todd’s debit card to withdraw $400 from Todd’s bank account, police said.
Police raided the Stratford hotel room after finding Todd’s car in the parking lot. However, they said Roberts’ uncle told them that Roberts had left without saying goodbye.
When the uncle later called Roberts to let him know police were looking for him, police said Roberts told the uncle “sorry unc,” and hung up.
Police said they arrested Roberts at his father’s home in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on Dec. 14, without incident.