Appeals hearing set for former Delaware trooper charged with theft


Oral arguments have been scheduled in the appeals case for a former Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper charged with stealing two firearms from evidence when he worked at the Delaware post.

William P. Elschlager, 47, of Marietta, was originally scheduled to stand trial on Nov. 10, 2016, to face a charge of tampering with records and six charges of theft, all third-degree felonies.

Prosecutors allege that police had executed a search warrant at Elschlager’s Marietta 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 OSHP.

Assistant County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said police check the paperwork of the guns and learned that Elschlager had recorded that he had destroyed the guns. Elschlager was indicted on the tampering with evidence charge and the theft charges in May.

In August, Elschlager’s defense attorney, Samuel Shamansky, filed a motion to suppress and argued that the weapons should not have been taken because the search warrant did not specifically list them and said police had no probable case to take the firearms.

A hearing took place on Sept. 19 and on Sept. 22, Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger granted part of the motion to suppress and removed one of the firearms from evidence, but said the firearm that was found in an evidence bag was obtained legally.

Shamansky filed an appeal on Sept. 27 with the Fifth District Court of Appeals and asked that the other weapon be excluded from evidence.

There have been numerous filings in the appeals case since it started in September and on March 2 an entry was filed indicating that oral arguments have been set for April 13 at 10 a.m. at the Licking County Courthouse.

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 April 10 according to court records.

Court documents indicate that prosecutors and Elschlager are in the process of plea negotiations but records state the Washington County case will have an effect on any plea agreement.

Officials from the Ohio State Highway Patrol said last year 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 Patrol since 1997.

William Elschlager Elschlager

By Glenn Battishill

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

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