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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Texas deputy fatally shot girlfriend, then claimed it was suicide: cops

A Texas sheriff’s deputy fatally shot his paralyzed girlfriend and then claimed to authorities she took her own life, police said.

Jay Allen Rotter, a 36-year-old deputy with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested Monday on charges of murder and evidence tampering in the death of 46-year-old Leslie Lynn Hartman, Denton police said in a statement.

Rotter called 911 on Aug. 26 to report that Hartman shot herself in their home, where responding cops found her dead inside, police said.

“It was determined that Rotter and the deceased female were the only two people living in the residence at the time of the incident,” police said.

Rotter had identified himself as an officer during the 911 call – and said he was hugging Hartman when she shot herself in the head, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Dallas Morning News.

Rotter claimed he “would have stopped” Hartman — who was paralyzed and used a wheelchair — from shooting herself if he could have, the affidavit states.

But investigators found chat logs sent by the deputy on the night of the shooting that indicated otherwise, as well as evidence at the home that didn’t match his version of events, police said.

Rotter later declined when a detective asked to take a look at his phone and returned the device back to its factory settings when investigators stepped out of an interview room, the affidavit states.

A search warrant later revealed Rotter used the chat service Discord earlier that evening to send a message about shooting a milk bottle in his backyard.

About 15 minutes later, chat logs showed Rotter and Hartman were arguing about his gunplay in the backyard, where a milk bottle with a bullet hole was later found in the trash, police said.

Rotter then sent a message investigators said referred to the deadly shooting, according to the affidavit.

“I just sent a 9 millie in this [expletive] hippie,” police said.

A search of Hartman’s cellphone found no evidence that she was depressed or suicidal, but she did text a friend saying Rotter was “in a mood” and needed to “sort himself out” as she referred to drugs he was taking, the affidavit states.

Hartman’s autopsy is still listed as pending, the newspaper reports.

Rotter, a deputy since 2005 who was assigned to the department’s narcotics division, remained jailed on $1,150,000 bail as of early Wednesday. He’s been placed on administrative leave following his arrest, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Read More at NYPost

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