2008-12-04 / Front Page

Rouzer Tr ial Delayed

Trial in hit-man-for-hire case tentatively set for January
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The details of an alleged murder for-hire case that began from within the confines of the Franklin County Prison will be aired in January during the trial of Gregory Aaron Rouzer.

Tentatively set for January 15 and 16 in neighboring Franklin County, the trial will decide the fate of the 40-year-old Harrisonville man charged with felony counts of criminal solicitation homicide and criminal conspiracy engaging-homicide. Rouzer is currently lodged in prison after previously being sentenced to a minimum of 14 years and seven months in a state correctional institution after attempting to kill Breezewood area resident Randy Walters. The attempted murder purportedly stems from a supposed grudge by Rouzer against Walters' girlfriend, Marian Wertz.

It is possible Rouzer's case will be tried in conjunction with the commonwealth's case against Rouzer's former girlfriend, Mildred "Midge" Tressler, who faces charges of criminal conspiracy and hindering apprehension. He is represented in court proceedings by defense attorney Eric Weisbrod, while Tressler is represented by attorney James Reed.

According to charging papers filed against Rouzer in the hitman for-hire case, state police said after being initially arrested in the attempted murder of Walters, Rouzer allegedly conspired from his jail cell with a fellow inmate for assistance in having the shooting victim and his girlfriend killed in hopes they would not testify against him in court.

The hit-man secured by Rouzer turned out to be an undercover Pennsylvania State Police trooper. The trooper posing as a hit-man was instructed to pick up a tin containing candy and drugs outside Rouzer's home, the affidavit states, in exchange for his services. The trooper was also provided with a map to use in locating the Wertz and Walters residence at 3420 Sipes Mill Road, Warfordsburg.

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