A Delaware County grand jury indicted a former Ohio State Highway Patrol lieutenant on charges of tampering with records and theft after he allegedly stole two guns from evidence.
William P. Elschlager, 47, of Marietta, was indicted Friday by a grand jury on a charge of tampering with records and six counts of theft, all third-degree felonies. Prosecutors said charges were filed after two guns were found in his home.
“The guns had been in evidence during the time Mr. Elschlager was a patrolman at the Delaware County post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. “One gun was supposed to have been destroyed, while the other had been catalogued as having been returned to the owner.”
Prosecutors said Elschlager later left his position at the Delaware post and became post commander at the Marietta post.
An arraignment for the charges has been set for July 15 at 9:15 a.m. A summons to appear in court has been issued to Elschlager.
Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger will preside over the case.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, sentences for third-degree felonies range from a fine to between one to five years in prison.
This is not Elschlager’s only active criminal case. He was charged with felony menacing and abduction in January related to an incident with a subordinate’s wife he had reportedly been having an affair with in 2015.
The Associated Press reports the menacing and abduction charge come from an incident where Elschlager pulled the woman over for speeding.
Officials from the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that Elschlager was fired on Feb. 1 for “conduct unbecoming of an officer” and other offenses after he was charged with the incident in Marietta Municipal Court.
The Associated Press reports that Elschlager has been on home confinement under conditions of bond.
Officials report Elschlager had been with the Ohio State Highway Patrol since 1997.