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Charles Edward ROCHE Jr.





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robberies
Number of victims: 2 - 8
Date of murders: 1983 - 1990
Date of birth: August 20, 1963
Victims profile: Ernest Graves, 25, and Daniel Brown, 22
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 30, 1990. Resentenced to life in prison on May 28, 2002. Committed suicide by hanging himself on January 10, 2006
suicide letter



DOB: 08-20-1963
902303 White Male

Lake County Superior Court
Judge James L. Clement

Prosecutor: Joseph L. Curosh, Jr.

Defense: Noah L. Holcomb, Jr.

Date of Murder: May 10, 1990

Victim(s): Ernest Graves W/M/25 Daniel Brown W/M/22 (Acquaintances of Roche)

Method of Murder: shooting with .38 Derringer and .22 rifle

Summary: Edward Nicksich suspected Ernest Graves of stealing $120 worth of food stamps from his girlfriend. He and Roche, Jr. arranged a phoney drug deal and lured Ernest Graves and his friend Daniel Brown to the basement of Roche, Jr.'s home.

Roche, Jr. came upstairs and remarked to his girlfriend that there were two men downstairs that he was going to shoot because they owed someone $120. He retrieved a .38 derringer and a .22 rifle and went back downstairs.

Nine bullets were later recovered from the victim's bodies. Four of the bullets were found to have come from the derringer owned by Roche, Jr. This meant that he had to reload at least three times.

After the shots, Roche, Jr., Roche, Sr., and Nicksich came upstairs and they shared a bag of cocaine taken from the victims. They used the car of Roche, Jr.'s girlfriend to remove and dispose of the bodies. Roche and Nicksich admitted to friends that each of them had shot one of the victims.

Roche testified at trial that he shot both men while acting in self-defense.

Conviction: Murder, Murder, Felony-Murder, Felony-Murder (Roche was tried jointly with John Nicksich. The jury returned a verdict against a Death Sentence for Nicksich and was hung on Death Sentence for Roche. John Roche, Sr. was tried separately)

Sentencing: November 30, 1990 Death Sentence (Roche) 40 years, 40 years consecutive (Nicksich)

Aggravating Circumstances: b (1) Robbery, 2 murders

Mitigating Circumstances: no significant prior criminal record, hung jury in death phase, traumatic childhood, psychiatric treatment during puberty, drug and alcohol addiction, accomplice was catalyst

(Roche was later convicted in LaPorte County of an attempted escape attempt, and has since sought to waive all appeals in both cases, asking that the death sentence be carried out immediately)

(Direct appeal of 45 year sentence for Attempted Murder of prison guard in LaPorte County, after Roche and 3 others attempted escape in 1994; REVERSED due to admission of prior bad acts as prisoner. On 06-18-99 Roche was convicted of Attempted Aggravated Battery and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.)


State Prison inmate found dead of apparent suicide

Indianapolis Star

January 11, 2006

In Michigan City, a former death row inmate who repeatedly had asked to be executed was found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide Tuesday, a prison official said.

Guards found Charles E. Roche Jr., 42, Hammond, dead during a security check, Indiana State Prison Superintendent Ed Buss said. He used a sheet braided into a rope to hang himself, the Indiana Department of Correction said.

Roche was convicted of two murders in 1990, but a federal judge reduced his death sentence to life in prison in 2001.

Roche was sentenced to death for the May 11, 1990, shooting deaths of two men. Ernest Graves, 22, Calumet City, Ill., and Daniel Brown, Louisville, Ky., were killed in Roche's Hammond residence, and their bullet-riddled bodies were dumped in Gary. Roche later bragged to friends about the killings.

2 other men, including Roche's father, also were convicted in the killings.

In February 2001, a federal judge vacated Roche's death sentence, ruling that he had received ineffective legal counsel.

While on death row, Roche repeatedly had asked to die, saying he did not like living under the State Prison's rules. His execution was delayed because of concerns about his mental competency.

Roche was being retried in Lake County Superior Court when he died, prison officials said.

Roche left a suicide note. "I'm tired of getting close to these guys in here and then watch them slowly crack as they near their fate," said the note released Tuesday by Roche's attorney. "That's worse (than) a death sentence."


Charles Edward Roche Jr.



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