Archive for Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tonganoxie resident dies morning of scheduled sentencing; police continue investigating cause of death

September 28, 2011

An investigation continues in the death of a Tonganoxie man who died the morning he was scheduled to appear in Leavenworth County District Court.

Jeff Roberts, 34, was to be sentenced the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 21 for charges stemming from a Feb. 24 incident at his parents’ home in Tonganoxie in which an officer shot at Roberts, who was armed at the time.

Tonganoxie police Chief Jeff Brandau said Friday that Roberts died early Wednesday morning at his parents’ home in Tonganoxie. Brandau said the death is under investigation.

Roberts’ mother, Velda Roberts, declined to discuss her son’s death, but said: “Jeff no longer is struggling with the depression and anxiety and he is at peace.”

His mother said Roberts was a computer programmer who had been laid off work for nearly three years.

Roberts was facing a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer on Sept. 21.

Just before 1 a.m. Feb. 24, officers were called to the Tonganoxie home of Roberts’ parents for a disturbance. A Tonganoxie police officer shot at Jeff Roberts, who was armed with a shotgun. The officer’s bullet hit the gun and fragments struck the left side of Roberts’ chest.

In February, Velda Roberts said her son was living in Overland Park but had been staying with her and her husband. He told his mother he wanted to return to Overland Park, but she told him that wasn’t feasible and that led to an argument.

Shortly after, Roberts shoved his mother, she said. He then grabbed a shotgun from a closet and went outside. That’s where an officer shot at the armed man.

She said that her son was on medication for depression at the time of the incident.

Roberts had entered a plea of no contest in the aggravated assault case, which Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said has been dismissed.


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