Stevens murder trial moved back to June

LISBON — The murder trial of Robert Stevens has now been postponed until June. Stevens is accused in the home invasion robbery and assault, which is believed to have ultimately led to the death of Charles Travis, Jr.

Defense attorneys Jennifer Gorby and Christopher Weeda have filed a motion asking for next week’s jury trial to be continued, allowing for an expert for the defense to look at the autopsy report of Travis and to testify on their behalf.

On Thursday, Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam approved up to $1,500 to pay for the expert witness they have now located. Stevens, who is indigent, has his defense paid for through the courts.

The expert initially found reportedly was going to cost about $10,000 if he had to come and testify so Gorby and Weeda were asked to find another expert witness.

The trial had been scheduled for next week, but now is scheduled for June 3. An interim status conference is set for April 18 followed by a final status conference on May 24.

Stevens, 49, Fox Chase Road, East Liverpool, was initially charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and tampering with evidence after Travis, an 89-year-old Air Force veteran, was found by a family member beaten in his home on March 9, 2018. A murder charge was added by superseding indictment after Travis died on July 19.

According to investigators, Stevens confessed to the home invasion and to burning the bloody clothing he wore during the incident along with other evidence. He is alleged to have gained access to the home by saying he had a package Travis needed to sign for and using a Fed Ex box to get Travis to open the door.

Stevens is accused of taking about $300 from Travis’ wallet during the robbery.