A former Ohio State Highway Patrol lieutenant charges with tampering with records and theft was scheduled to stand trial last week in Delaware County Common Pleas Court but the trial was postponed to Novemeber.

William P. Elschlager, 47, of Marietta, entered not guilty pleas to charge of tampering with records and six counts of theft, all third-degree felonies at an arraignment hearing on July 15 and was scheduled stand trial for the charges on Sept. 29.

At the arraignment, Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said that police had executed a search warrant at Elschlager’s home to find evidence in a Washington County criminal case and during the search they located two firearms that had been stolen from evidence while Elschlager was a trooper at the Delaware post of the highway patrol.

Sleeper said when police checked the paperwork for the guns they learned that Elschlager had recorded that he had destroyed the guns.

Sleeper said one of the guns was still in the evidence bag.

However, on Sept. 23 Elschlager’s attorney, Samuel Shamansky and First Assistant County Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer filed a joint motion for a continuance and asked that Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley postpone the trial to a later date.

In the motion, Shamansky and Rohrer stated they are involved in plea negotiations and require more time to reach an agreement.

Elschlager has also pleaded not guilty in Washington County Common Pleas Court to six charges including abduction, criminal trespassing, menacing by stalking and receiving stolen property. The Associated Press reports these charges stem from an affair Elschlager had with one of his troopers’ wife while he was the post commander in Marietta. He will stand trial on those charges on Aug. 3.

Prosecutors said Elschlager later left his position at the Delaware post and became post commander at the Marietta post.

The motion to continue also states the outcome of the Washington County case will affect any plea agreement.

Gormley granted the motion on Sept. 28 and scheduled Elschlager for a new trial on Nov. 10.

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.

Officials report Elschlager had been with the Ohio State Highway Patrol since 1997.


By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.