A judge in Fulton County has ruled in the bench trial of a murder defendant accused of brutally slaying an elderly Knox woman. Roy Bell is guilty of murder, robbery and criminal confinement. Fulton Superior Court Judge Wayne Steele says the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The charges stem from the November 22, 2011 murder of Wilma Upsall at her daughter’s home near Leiters Ford. Court documents indicate Bell admitted breaking into the home, finding her sitting on the couch in her robe and house slippers and tying her to a chair with a telephone cord while he and two friends ransacked the residence. They decided to kill Upsall because they were afraid she would be able to identify them. Upsall’s daughter found her slumped over dead in a chair when she came home. Bell was arrested two days later at a home in Monterey. The judge set Bell’s sentencing for Monday, Sept. 16 at 1:15 p.m. Eastern. He faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. WKVI’s Anita Goodan was in court for today’s proceedings and will have a complete wrap-up later this afternoon, on the air and online at WKVI.com.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.