Theft trial set for former trooper

By Glenn Battishill - [email protected]

An October trial date has been scheduled for a former trooper from the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol who is charged with stealing a gun from evidence.

William P. Elschlager, 48, of Marietta, Ohio, was indicted on May 6, 2016 and charged with a charge of tampering with records and six charges of theft, all third-degree felonies. A status conference was held on Monday afternoon and a new trial was scheduled for Oct. 3.

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. Prosecutors said one gun was still in an evidence bag when it was found by police.

Elschlager was originally scheduled to stand trial in September 2016 for the charges, but the trial was delayed after Elschlager’s 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 cause to take the firearms.

During a hearing that took place on Sept. 19 and Sept. 22 of last year, 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.

The trial was delayed until after the ruling of the appellate court and on June 26, 2017, the Fifth District upheld Krueger’s decision and allowed one of the weapons to remain in evidence.

Additionally, since his indictment in Delaware County, Elschlager has also been indicted in the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio and he was charged with one count of cyberstalking and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.

Court officials said that while Elschlager was a lieutenant at the Marietta post of the highway patrol in 2015, he began engaging in an affair with the wife of another trooper.

Court officials report Elschlager allegedly began stalking the victim in October 2015 after she ended their relationship. The affidavit alleges that he frequently followed the victim in vehicles, texted her with knowledge of her whereabouts, and showed up at her residence unannounced.

Officials said he also placed a GPS tracking device on her vehicle and conducted an unlawful traffic stop, during which time he turned off his audio recording device.

He is scheduled to stand trial for those charges on Sept. 18.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported in 2016 that Elschlager was dismissed on Feb. 1, 2016, for “conduct unbecoming of an officer.” Elschlager had been a trooper for the highway patrol since 1997 and previously worked at the Delaware Post several years ago.

By Glenn Battishill

[email protected]

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

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