Charges against Marshall man dropped
MARSHALL - Carl Roettgen, who was arrested in 2015 after attempting to shoot a police officer, had all but one charge against him dismissed this week.
Roettgen plead guilty to fleeing a crime scene, sending him to prison for four years. The other six charges against him were dropped.
Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Donald Stouffer dropped the charges because "no reasonable juror could find the officers' accounts credible."
According to Stouffer, a written report by two Marshall police officers did not match surveillance video of the incident. During his investigation, Stouffer met with a commanding officer from the Marshall Department, who told him the offcers' statement on the event were "questionable at best."
In the original report, police officers said they confronted Roettgen's car in a Walmart parking lot. When the officers approached the car Roettgen tried driving off. A person in the passenger seat jumped out, which let one of the police officers jump in. According to the statement, Roettgen held a gun within one inch of the officer's head. The officer left the car and Roettgen drove away. He was captured a week later in Alabama.
In Stouffer's investigation it was determined a gun might not have been pulled on the officer. In the same meeting with the commanding officer, Stouffer said the officer talked to one of the policeman involved in the incident and admitted to not seeing a gun.
"For the first time in my 28 years of service in the Prosecutor's office, I dismissed criminal charges because I concluded the testimony of the primary law enforcement witness lacked credibility," Stouffer said in a press release Monday.
It was also determined the officers didn't face any disciplinary action when the department found inconsistencies in their stories. Stouffer said no action occurred because the department did not want to affect the outcome of the criminal case.
Stouffer added, "It is inconceivable that there is an apparent belief among some members of the command staff that the outcome of a criminal case is more important than taking action to prevent Marshall police officers from presenting testimony, under oath, that is "questionable at best" and suborning perjury at worst."
The two officers involved were later placed on paid administrative leave.