Hancock County death: Wife says man threatened to kill officers

Published: .
Updated: .

The Hancock County prosecutor has asked for more time before filing possible charges in the case of a Greenfield homicide.

A woman is accused of shooting and killing her husband last Friday. It happened on South County Road 800 East in Greenfield.

Police found 57-year-old Gary Roberts shot in the basement. His wife Elizabeth is being held as a person of interest. 

"She did what she thought was right," said Captain Jeff Rasche with the Hancock County Sheriff's Department about Elizabeth Roberts.

In the eyes of the law, though, shooting her husband because he was threatening to kill police, could still get Roberts charged with murder.

"Oftentimes you hear the statement, 'Wish somebody would have done something.' In this case, that she did do something, you know, she pulled the trigger," said Rasche of Roberts' decision to shoot her husband in the chest.

According to court documents, Roberts went to police last week, telling them her husband had become irrational and dangerous especially when drinking alcohol or taking prescription medications.

Roberts also told authorities her husband was having suicidal thoughts and had a large number of guns and explosives in their Greenfield home.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Mrs. Roberts said when she told her husband authorities were coming, her threatened that everyone was going to die.

"We wouldn't have just gone up and knocked on the guy's door and said, 'Hey, we're here to get your guns and now you're going to go with us'," explained Rasche.

Police never got the chance, though. According to investigators, Elizabeth Roberts shot her husband once in the chest and called them to report it.

"Obviously, she saw something that Friday afternoon that caused her to take action that she had never seen before," said Rasche.

Now, the Hancock County prosecutor is faced with a tough decision, whether Elizabeth Roberts should be charged with murder or whether she had no choice and ultimately saved lives with her actions.

"If she is not charged here, is that going to give the next person out here in the community an idea, 'Well, my neighbor's crazy' or 'I think my neighbor's having some psychological issues or some mental issues.' Does that give him the right to go over there and shoot their neighbor?" asked Rasche.

The prosecutor's office could make a decision this week about the case.