Archive for Thursday, June 21, 2001

Shooting investigation continues

Charges pending in killing of Eudora man

June 21, 2001

Whether a Linwood man will be charged with the shooting death of his son-in-law remains in the hands of investigators.

Charles Leach, 61, was taken into custody and later released last week after his son-in-law Michael Roach, 38, was shot and killed on Leach's property in the 12200 block of 220th Street.

It had appeared as though Leach had shot an unarmed Roach in the heat of an argument.

The Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office said Leach had been wearing a gun at the time of the shooting. However, deputies found a second gun, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun that may not belong to Leach. A shot was fired from other weapon. Whether Leach shot and killed Roach in self-defense has not been determined.

"We will wait until the investigation is completed before making any charges," said Leavenworth County Attorney Frank Kohl. "Whether he had to use deadly force would be up to the jury.

The determination of the charges have to be supported by the evidence."

Sheriff's deputies continue to gather evidence this week.

"I had hoped to have it wrapped up by today (Tuesday) and give it to the county attorney's office but it appears it might take a little longer," Leavenworth County Undersheriff Major Dave Zoellner said.

Zoellner said they are continuing to investigate the shooting as a homicide.

Leach had been working on his property about 6 p.m. when Roach came over to allegedly pick up some personal items. According to Douglas County District Court records, Roach had filed for divorce from Leach's daughter, but the proceedings were not final.

Investigators said an argument took place that resulted in the shooting. A man working with Leach had called 911 after the incident.

Although some of Leach's family had said the argument stemmed from a longstanding dispute between the two men, investigators so far have no evidence of prior threats being made between the two men.

Leach was released from the Leavenworth County Jail without being charged because by law the state has to charge a suspect within 48 hours of being arrested.

An autopsy of Roach's body was scheduled for Tuesday, June 19. A report has not yet been filed with the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

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