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videoA Wilmington man is in jail without bond after allegedly stabbing his father to death last night. Corey Eugene Roberts, 20, is charged with first-degree murder.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is in jail without bond after allegedly stabbing his father to death last night. Corey Eugene Roberts, 20, is charged with first-degree murder.

A frantic 911 call from the Roberts family’s home began with the caller saying a man was trying to kill himself. It ended with desperate cries for an ambulance.

“It is still happening,” the female caller said. “He is trying to kill himself. I need an ambulance now.”

Wilmington Police arrived at 503 Knighthawk Drive around 6:45 p.m. Thursday after the 911 call.

“He is trying to stab himself,” said the caller, who then told the operator Roberts had a knife.

According to the caller, Roberts was trying to hurt himself. The caller then describes the situation taking a violent turn.

“He is African-American. He is not very tall, about 5’7″. He has kind of, like it is not an afro, but it is sort of… I think he stabbed my dad. I think he stabbed my dad!” the caller said. “Get an ambulance here now!”

Officers found Corey Roberts outside his home with a knife they believe he used to stab his father, Christopher Eugene Roberts, 52. Officers arrested Corey Roberts at the scene. His father was rushed to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Corey Roberts was in court Friday morning. When the judge asked him if he had anything to say, Roberts said, “Sorry,” and began crying.

Neighbors, who did not want to go on camera, say they are in shock. They say they live in a neighborhood where everyone knows one another, and the Robertses always seemed like a happy family.

Roberts is in the New Hanover County Jail without bond. He was appointed a death-penalty certified public defender.

Comment on this Story

  • Lebowski

    Since you have no idea what you’re talking about. Don’t be a keyboard warrior. If you haven’t got the stones to say it in real life then don’t say it at all. Now shut your face.

  • GuestNCNative

    You’re just wrong on several issues.

    First, if you listen to the recording VERY carefully, you will discover that the whole thing is edited. What is edited out is CLEARLY not what the dispatcher said at any point, so don’t even try to say that the recording was edited to protect the dispatcher. That leaves only one person whose words were edited: THE CALLER. Just because you can’t hear her being COMPLETELY UNCOOPERATIVE quite frequently doesn’t mean that the caller was blameless and calm.

    Ask yourself the following question: What would YOU have done if YOU had to answer that 9-1-1 call? Through a distraught caller’s fragmented words and hysterical shreiking, you would HAVE to gather certain pieces of information. You would need to know an address as quickly as possible. If the caller was never able to give but one piece of information, a location would have to be that piece of information. We can then send fire, EMS, and Law to the scene. You would need to know the phone number the caller called you from so that you can call them back if the line is disconnected. You would need to know what is happening on scene so you can determine who to send – Law, EMS, Fire, or a combination of the above. As dispatchers, we automatically send EMS and Law to any call involving suicidal subjects as soon as we know where they are and that they are suicidal. We have no choice over that because it’s automatically programmed into our CAD system to generate and immediately dispatch once those 2 things are known. As soon as the calltaker knew this was someone threatening suicide and where they were physically located, and ambulance and police officers were dispatched. Every question from the calltaker after that was about determining scene safety while simultaneously attempting to give the caller lifesaving CPR instructions.

    Next, you would need to know where the weapon is. If a guy has just stabbed his own father, he’s CLEARLY not in his right mind already. Maybe YOU are comfortable with not requiring that piece of information, but as a dispatcher who frequently has to send offcers in similar dangerous situations all the time, I can assure you that I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure a crazed person who just murdered his own father does not murder one of my officers.

    Sometimes we HAVE to speak loudly and forcefully because the nature of the call dictates it. If a caller is being hysterical, we HAVE to get their attention. We HAVE to get them to refocus.

    Sending the call over for dispatch as soon as she knew a location and that the guy was threatening suicide, the customer service portion of the call was largely completed. The caller had dialed 9-1-1 in order to get help. The dispatcher did that.

    If the responding officer was YOU or someone you love, wouldn’t you be wanting that dispatcher to find out EXACTLY where that guy and his knife were at all times? If he had just killed someone you know and/or love, wouldn’t you want to know how he’s dressed and how he looks in case he tries to flee before police officers get on scene?

    So if you’ve HONESTLY considered the information I’ve just given you, I think it’s absolutely fair to say that YOU are the one being judgemental here. You spouted off truly ridiculous comments in your post that were based on ignorance of what really happened during that call.

    I admit I was indeed being judgemental when I said Guest111 couldn’t handle being a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Unlike YOU, my comments are based on facts. Because I know EXACTLY what happened during that call, and because I have 20 years of experience as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, I have every right and reason in the world to say that Guest111 could NOT handle this job.

    Neither could YOU, for that matter.

  • Shawna

    I went to middle school and high school with Corey. Everytine I saw him he always had a smile on his face and had a positive attitude. He is not the type of person that did something like this on purpose. It was a suicide attempt that got out of control and an innocent person was killed. But before u bash Corey you need to understand what he was going through to get to the point that he wanted to kill himself. And I know he didn’t mean to kill his father. They were a happy family. And as for all you people that concerned with your safety i dont know what to tell u because you sound very ignorant, not knowing the circumstances of this situation. Corey is not and never has been a criminal and most of you are judging him on the color of his skin. And I am a young white woman. My prayers and wishes go out to the Roberts family. This is an unbelievable ordeal. Because not one but two people are being taken from this family. And I think that the ignorance in these comments is ridiculous.

  • Klgm

    It’s so disturbing to read some of the vicious, uncaring comments. I also know this family, and I also know the background. It was a very, very tragic incident that could have happened to any family. “There but by the grace of God, go I.” If you don’t have issues like these, you probably have others. So rather than use the comments section to judge others, why not say a quiet prayer or meditation to yourself, give your loved ones an extra hug, and thank your lucky stars that today, at least for today, your life has not been ripped apart by tragedy. If after that you’re feeling particularly charitable, say a prayer for the Roberts family. They would truly appreciate it!

  • Pls124

    Wow, clearly the dispatcher started yelling at this young girl, who was speaking calmly and gave the info needed. She spoke over the girl often and yelled at her when there was no need. It was unprofessionally handled. And to say that guest111 couldn’t handle the job is quite judgemental, this dispatcher wasn’t working with quality customer service, it’s clear in this tape and I’m sure it’s happened before.

  • Me,Myself, and I

    At first, the dispatcher was very polite. She politely spoke several times, to this understandably frantic caller. Who kept saying, “Get and ambulance now! Get and ambulance now!” Then the dispatcher tried another approach, when passive-politeness, clearly wasn’t working. She had to get that vital information, needed for Law Enforcement, and EMS.

    A horrible, tragic, death has occurred. And I know you’re upset. But this is no time for hatred against a innocent, hard working, dispatcher, trying as hard as she can to get vital, life-saving, information, for the Police, and EMS, so they can try to apprehend the danger, and more importantly, to save this man’s life.

    You may not know this, but when violence is occurring, EMS can’t do their job, until the police are able to take control of the scene. How can they put you in an ambulance, when someone is trying to shoot or stab them ? Vital suspect information has to be obtained.

    You might want to try looking past your hatred against her, and try blaming the real person at fault here. The killer. Who chose to attack a man, and take his life.

  • She spent valuable time asking self answered questions rather than Sending an Ambulance too the scene of This Tragic Incident,I know that you have your standard ABC’s 123’s guidelines you follow but You Missed It Honey Boo boo. YOU DESERVE TOO BE TERMINATED!!!

  • PublicAvenger

    She can’t send an ambulance, until the police arrive, and give the ok. It sounded bad. But it is her job to get as much information as possible. Which is what she was trying to do.

  • Guest789

    Before you post something like this that you know nothing about, you should really know how the system works. Asking questions doesn’t slow the responding units down. The dispatchers have a set of questions that they are required to ask even after the call is already dispatched by another co worker. When an emergency call comes in, the call is sent to the units that need to respond while the person taking the calls continues to gather information for responding units. This dispatcher didn’t slow up help getting to the party in need.

  • GuestYahooey

    Are you even capable of seeing your own hypocrisy in your comments? The family needs PRIVACY??!?

    Well, good thing you’re reading this story and these comments and then contributing to it with your own ridiculous lack of concern about giving the family their privacy.

    Sit down and shut up before someone mistakes you for a jackass.

  • GuestNCNative

    You really should learn and understand what you’re talking about BEFORE you open your mouth.

    When a call comes in to the 9-1-1 center, EMS is paged out IMMEDIATELY if there is even a suspicion that the call involves someone who is sick and/or injured. The calltaker in this case was NOT working the EMS channel, so NO, you would NOT have heard her dispatching EMS. She’d already sent the call over for EMS and Law to be dispatched. What you hear is her trying to get as much information about this rapidly-changing call as she could. EMS and Law were already en route from the moment she was told that someone was trying to kill themself.

    She was NOT being “ignorant”. An ambulance and officers were ALREADY HEADING TOWARDS THE SCENE. At that point, she was trying to gather as much information about the suspect as possible. Why? So that responding officers could be looking for the suspect on their way to the scene.

    Being a 9-1-1 dispatcher is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Nobody ever calls 9-1-1 because they’re having a *good* day. I’ll wager the average person can’t put up with the level of stress that dispatchers encounter each time they answer the phone. Add to that the fact that people working in the 9-1-1 center not only take calls but also dispatch them – frequently at the same time. A dispatcher can be on the phone taking a 9-1-1 call while simultaneously having to dispatch traffic on whatever channel they are working. Juggling those two things without letting either suffer is a balancing act that few are able to do.

    I daresay that YOU, Guest111, could NOT do this job. The fact that you’ve thrown in the towel and concluded defeat for the dispatcher means that you have demonstrated an appalling lack of ability to stick around when the going gets tough. Good thing this dispatcher didn’t suffer from the same disease that makes you so weakly yellow.

  • craig sparks

    very very sad/ This kid (only 20) had a bright future and now is looking at central prison in Raleigh. Central is one exit past NCSU (my alma mater). “the kid” deserves every ounce of consideration. Based on reports he is remorseful. He cried at the first appearance and those were real tears. Tonight as you go to bed think of this young kid and think about how much he cannot eat,sleep or even think about his dad. You are in my prayers to night sir. I hope I am right.

  • A J L

    I was shocked to hear the 911 tape played on the news for several reasons; however, it is quite disturbing to hear how the 911 Operator spoke to the young lady making the call.


    It was good to read earlier today disciplinary action is being considered.

    The family needs prayer and privacy at this time.

  • Begondhey

    Its definitely a possibility but I think 1st degree murder is a stretch. I’d say this is 2nd degree honestly, but then again we are not aware of all the information relating to this sad, and unfortunate tragedy. Only time will tell. My deepest sympathies are with the Roberts family, they will be in my thoughts and prayers. From the corey I knew, he was a genuine, nice, very intelligent, all around good kid…

  • Guest111

    Wow, the 911 lady should lose her job. She wouldn’t send an ambulance for a good 2 min, there was no need for her ignorance. they could have been there before the stabbing or just as it happened and saved his life. She should be blamed for something here. That just isn’t right.

  • Mom911

    Is it possible this young man was attempting to “kill himself” & his father was trying to prevent him from injuring himself. Until we know further details, we should reserve judgement. Domestic violence is quick & horrific & many people make terrible decisions “in the heat of the moment”. Prayers to the family and the friends of this family.

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