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PARAGOULD, Ark. – A Greene County deputy who was under investigation for a domestic violence incident will not be charged after a case review made by a deputy prosecutor.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Brown, under 2nd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, wrote that, “…there is not enough to support charging [GCSD Deputy] Rockie Weber with Domestic Battery in the 3rd Degree” for an incident that happened on Dec. 4 in rural Greene County.
The three primary reasons behind Brown declining to prosecute were the intoxication of the victim causing a “credibility issue,” several conflicts concerning the juvenile witness, and the choice by his significant other, Amy Barrett, to not wish to pursue charges.
The letter sent to Paragould Detective Lieutenant Rhonda Thomas dated Dec. 13 states Brown was asked to review the case by Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington. Brown said an incident occurred between an intoxicated Amy and Rockie, whose status that evening has not been documented – especially considering he left the scene in a vehicle without tags and with a firearm, per the incident report. In Amy’s 911 call, the deputy prosecutor said she stated Rockie had pushed her down and then left.
Sgt. Jimmy Huffstetler and Deputy Jeff Wolfenbarger were the first to arrive. Huffstetler smelled intoxicants on Amy. According to his report, Weber disabled Amy’s phone over suspicions she was talking to another man. The woman claimed Weber got the keys and was about to leave when she grabbed the keys from him, causing a struggle to ensue. The woman said Weber twisted the keys out of her hand and threw her onto the hardwood floor, causing her to land on her right elbow.
Amy was administered a PBT test and blew a 0.17. She couldn’t give a written statement at the time.
Also, Huffstetler’s narrative said that Wolfenbarger informed him the juvenile witnessed Weber rip the keys out of Amy’s hand and then throw her down on the floor. But Wolfenbarger’s narrative included a less incriminating version of events for Rockie. This was of particular concern to the prosecutor. Wolfenbarger noted that according to the child, Weber pulled the keys out of “her hands and then Mrs. Weber fell to the ground.”
Lt. Patrick Lenderman interviewed Rockie that night and reported a similar story: Amy was trying to leave, she was too drunk, and he took the keys from her. But he said when he took the keys, she punched him in the head three times. He said that when he got the keys, he turned to leave and Amy fell while attempting to hang on to his clothing from behind.
Both were photographed with visible injuries.
Crimes Against Children Division Investigator Jamie Moore conducted an interview with the juvenile on Dec. 5. In that interview, the child once again said Rockie pushed Amy down but Moore felt the child was unable to provide any details about how it happened or any specifics.
“She felt like the juvenile did not actually witness Rockie push Amy down, only hat her mom fell and hurt her elbow in the midst of a heated argument.”
An interview on Dec. 6 with both Rockie and Amy resulted in investigators noting almost the same story from Rockie but a “substantially different” story from Amy. She said she remembered Rockie trying to take the keys and she thought he pushed her but it was really hard to remember since she was intoxicated. During that interview, she signed a decline of prosecution form.
Brown noted in his decision that, despite Huffstetler feeling like he had enough to charge both parties at the scene, that he was likely concerned with erring on the side of caution and protecting all parties.
“I was provided with much more information than Sgt. Huffstetler had available to him and based on that information, there is not enough to support charging Rockie Weber with Domestic Battery in the 3rd Degree.”
To read the full letter, click here: Greene Co. Conflict Charging Letter