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Dave Roepke, Published September 28 2011

Man accused of killing ex had motive, prosecutor says

BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. – The case against Jeffrey Silvernail, the man accused in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, Lori Roberts, boils down to three things, a prosecutor told a Wilkin County jury as the murder trial opened Wednesday.

Silvernail had the motive to kill Roberts amidst the strained end to their four-year relationship, his own actions show he had ample opportunity and he owned the same type of handgun used in the homicide, a gun he claimed was stolen.

Though there is forensic evidence against Silvernail, Eric Schieferdecker, the prosecutor from the state Attorney General’s office, urged jurors to not expect made-for-TV moments in a trial slated to last through the end of next week.

“In this case, there will be no ‘CSI’ silver bullet,” he said.

In the defense’s opening statement, attorney Pam King said some of the phys-ical evidence found in the investigation leaves un-answered questions, such as the identity of the per-son whose DNA was found under Roberts’ fingernails.

The 46-year-old defendant was arrested eight months after Roberts, 49, was shot twice in her Doran, Minn., home on Oct. 2, 2009. He was charged with second-degree murder and later indicted on a first-degree count that would draw a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole if he’s convicted.

In Wednesday testimony, Wilkin County Sheriff Rick Fiedler, the chief deputy at the time of the slaying, said it was a blood sample that matched Roberts found on Silvernail’s jeans that had convinced officers to arrest him and seek charges.

For the full story, read The Forum on Thursday.