Woman charged in boyfriend's murder emotional during Powell Co. hearing

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POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Melissa Roberts is charged with murder for the shooting death of her boyfriend. On Wednesday, a Powell County Circuit judge entered a not guilty plea on her behalf. Roberts was very emotional during her arraignment.

Investigators with Kentucky State Police say Roberts shot Steven strange on April 20th after he came into her home.

Roberts had an emergency protective order taken out against Strange in January of this year. However, it was dismissed on April 4th, two weeks before the deadly shooting.

Police did not charge her at the time of the shooting, instead deciding to present the case to a grand jury because Roberts said the shooting was self-defense.
The grand jury indicted her on a murder charge.

"I loved Steve, but I hated the way he acted. So, I'm really mixed about everything. I know there's consequences for what you do, but at least give her something. He never got in trouble for anything he did," said Sierra Brooks, who is the daughter of Melissa Roberts. Brooks came to court on Wednesday to see her mother.

WKYT spoke to a former girlfriend of Strange, who says she too experienced abuse.

"At times he was lovable but most of the time he was very abusive. I remember our last big fight he had a knife and held it to my throat. I knew if I didn't get away I would have been the one who died," she explained.

She says when she heard Strange had been killed, she was sad for his children but not necessarily surprised.

"He did not deserve to die, but at the same time she doesn't deserve to get beat on or be charged with murder," she said.

Strange's family says they know the he and Roberts had a difficult relationship. They also said that they do not hold any hateful feelings towards Roberts, but say they do hope to see justice served.

The judge is considering a bond reduction for Roberts who family members say suffers from Graves' disease. Roberts mother says her daughter is not in good health and just recently finished a round of radiation.

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