No charges filed yet in fatal Hancock Co. shooting

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GREENFIELD – Prosecutors requested more time to determine if charges will be filed against a woman who admitted she shot and killed her husband Friday.

Court documents show Hancock County Prosecutor Michael Griffin requested a 72-hour continuance to determine if charges will be filed against 56-year-old Elizabeth Roberts.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Roberts shot 57-year-old Gary Roberts in the basement of their Hancock County home Friday afternoon. On the morning of the shooting, she had warned police about her husband’s erratic behavior, saying he wanted to “end it all.” Her husband had been dealing with depression and grappling with prescription drug and alcohol problems, she said.

Roberts also said her husband, a firearms collector, had a large number of weapons in their basement in addition to ammunition and explosives. Police obtained a search warrant and planned to seize the weapons in order to prevent Gary Roberts from hurting himself. They also planned to have him undergo a mental evaluation.

On the day of the shooting, a friend said Gary Roberts told him to avoid his house when police arrived because “everyone was going to die.” Minutes later, that friend received a phone call from Elizabeth Roberts in which she said she’d shot her husband. Police found Gary Roberts dead in the basement from a gunshot wound to the chest that afternoon.

According to court documents, Elizabeth Roberts told her husband she was concerned about him and that police would soon arrive. Gary Roberts became “very irate” and said police weren’t going to take him to jail. Elizabeth Roberts said he started loading ammunition into gun magazines; she told him she’d shoot him “if she had to in order to stop him.” Gary Roberts handed her a gun and told her to “do what she needed to do,” court documents said.

Because she thought her husband would harm police, Elizabeth Roberts said she shot her husband “in the upper chest causing him to fall onto his back.” She called her friend to report what happened. Police arrived at the home shortly after that.

Investigators seized several weapons from the home Friday and watched the residence overnight. They searched again Saturday, recovering “approximately two hundred pounds of explosives.” The material was removed from the house and taken to a “remote area and safely disposed of.” Investigators also seized more weapons from the home and took them to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department evidence storage area.

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