2009-02-05 / Front Page

Rouzer Gets More Jail Time

Sentenced in Franklin County Friday
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

A Harrisonville man has been sentenced to an additional five years in a state correctional institution, bringing his overall minimum sentence to approximately 20 years for his involvement in a hired hit-man plot and the attempted murder of Breezewood resident Randy Walters.

Forty-one-year-old Gregory Rouzer of 1291 Possum Hollow Road entered a "no contest" plea to criminal solicitation to commit murder before Judge Richard Walsh in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Friday.

The charge stems from an arrangement made by Rouzer from a jail cell in the Franklin County Prison to have Walters killed in order to prevent his testimony from being aired in an attempted murder that occurred in February 2008 in Fulton County.

In exchange for the plea agreement, a sentence of between five and 10 years in a state prison was levied against Rouzer, who was represented in court by defense attorney Eric Weisbrod.

The newest sentence imposed brings Rouzer's overall minimum time in jail to just under 20 years. The maximum jail term is 60 years.

Rouzer had been previously sentenced in December in Fulton County by Judge John R. Walker. He was granted 10 months credit for time already served, but the original sentence read 14 years and seven months to 50 years in connection with a guilty verdict from area jurors on attempted murder and various related charges.

Rouzer maintained throughout the attempted murder trial he had visited the home shared by Walters and his girlfriend, Marian Wertz, last February after Walters had issued him an invitation to go squirrel hunting. The visit erupted into a shootout of sorts between Rouzer and Walters, who suffered several bullet wounds and required medical treatment. Following the incident, Rouzer disappeared from public sight for almost one week.

He resurfaced in the parking lot of Chambersburg Hospital with ex-girlfriend Mildred "Midge" Tressler of Mercersburg. Tressler had been charged with hindering apprehension and was also later allegedly involved in the murder-for-hire.

Tressler, 47, also made a court appearance last Friday. She pled guilty to one first-degree misdemeanor count of hindering apprehension of a fugitive in return for the dismissal of criminal solicitation charges.

Tressler was granted time served and was ordered to complete five years probation.

Rouzer, who was temporarily being housed at the Franklin County Prison, was scheduled to be transported to Camp Hill state correctional institution Tuesday.

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