A former trooper from the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of community control after he was found guilty of stealing a firearm from the patrol.
William P. Elschlager, 48, of Marietta, Ohio, appeared before Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger Friday afternoon for a sentencing hearing after Elschlager was found guilty of three counts of theft, third-degree felonies, following a bench trial in December.
Prosecutors said that police executed a search warrant at Elschlager’s Marietta home to find evidence in a Washington County criminal case and during the search they located a firearm that had been stolen from evidence while Elschlager was a trooper at the Delaware post of the OSHP.
On Friday, First Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer said Elschlager “gives law enforcement a black eye” and asked Krueger to sentence Elschlager to 2/3rds or the maximum sentence in the case
Elschlager’s attorney, Samuel Shamansky, said Elschlager has already had his “fall from grace” and said prison wasn’t necessary and advocated for community control, arguing that Elschlager has been on house arrest for approximately two years without issue.
“[Elschlager has] paid a very heavy price for his conduct,” Shamansky said.
Before he was sentenced, Elschlager apologized to Krueger for wasting the court’s time and resources and apologized for his conduct and for bringing a “black eye” on the patrol.
“This is not the way I wanted to end my career,” Elschlager said.
Krueger ultimately sentenced Elschlager to three years of community control and 30 days in the Delaware County Jail. He ordered Elschlager to pay a $1,000 fine and said he would be under heavy supervision during his community control. Krueger said violating community control could result in up to two years in prison or five additional years of community control.
Elschlager was remanded into the custody of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office after the hearing concluded. He was booked into the Delaware County Jail on Friday.
Elschlager was indicted in May 2016 and charged with one count of tampering with records and six counts of theft, all third-degree felonies. Three of the theft charges were dismissed before the trial.
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 and began stalking the woman in October 2015 after she ended their relationship.
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 March 5.
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.
Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.