SACRAMENTO — As the trial begins for a man accused of killing a girl and leaving her in a baseball dugout in Northern California, his attorney says there’s enough evidence to charge another man in the case.
Ryan Roberts is accused of killing 13-year-old Jessica Funk-Haslam, The girl’s stabbed, beaten and choked body was found in a Rosemont, Calif. park. Investigators say DNA found on cigarette butts at the crime scene matched Roberts from a previous arrest.
But a motion filed in the case argues that investigators have the wrong man. The motion from Roberts’ lawyers asks the court to bring a new suspect into the trial, a man identified as a “Juggalo gang member.”
A Juggalo is a fan of the band Insane Clown Posse. The rock band’s fans often wear black and white “clown” face paint. In 2011, the FBI listed the Juggalos in its National Gang Threat Assessment, though the band and its fans insist they are not involved in crime.
Roberts’ mother released a statement Tuesday calling for the court to follow up on the evidence against the unnamed Juggalo.
“I’ve been waiting for two years to tell you what I’ve known all along; my son, Ryan Roberts has been wrongly accused of a horrible crime: the murder of a young girl,” Tammy Roberts said in the statement.
The motion argues that the Juggalo suspect had a plan to meet the victim on the night of the murder, and that his criminal record includes an arrest for possessing knives.
Defense attorney Kevin Adamson, who is not involved with the trial, told CBS Sacramento that the motion goes further than just floating an alternate theory for the murder, a common defense tactic.
“What the court will look at is whether there’s more than a mere suspicion that it was somebody else,” he said. “You actually have to have evidence that somebody else committed the crime.”