The Letcher County Grand Jury voted not to indict a 37-year-old Mayking man who had been charged in connection with the death of his wife in March.
The grand jury determined that police and prosecutors did not have enough evidence to justify continuing the felony case against Roger Elswick, who was charged with wanton endangerment shortly after the body of his wife, Connie Robetta Webb Ison Elswick, was found lying on KY 3410 near the couple’s home at Cram Creek on March 14.
Mr. Elswick, 37, told neighbors his wife died after falling off a car he was moving to a safe location after Mrs. Elswick, 35, threatened to break out the vehicle’s windows during a domestic dispute in the early morning hours of March 14.
The grand jury voted to return the “no true bill” in the case after hearing testimony from Kentucky State Police Detective Robert Pollard.
Though the grand jury’s finding made no mention of what Pollard told jurors, here is how Pollard summed up the case in an affidavit accompanying a requests for warrants to seize and search a tape recorder, cellular phones and related records including text messages. The affidavit, filed in Letcher Circuit Court on March 26, said:
“Mr. Elswick advised that the couple had been experiencing marital discord and that on the early hours of March 14, Mrs. Elswick returned to the marital residence and that the two then engaged in an argument which included physical contact.
“Mr. Elswick advised that in an effort to avoid further conflict he had exited the marital residence and attempt to drive away in the couple’s automobile. In the process, Mr. Elswick reported that he heard and felt what he believed to be Mrs. Elswick lunge onto the trunk area of his departing automobile and that shortly after doing so has he continued to travel on the highway he felt movement which he believed to be Mrs. Elswick getting off the trunk of his automobile.
“Mr. Elswick further advised that he then drove approximately (eighttenths of a mile) from where Mrs. Elswick’s body was ultimately found, pulled into a parking lot and sat in his automobile until a third party came by and asked him who was lying in the roadway. Mr. Elswick stated he then went back to the location of Mrs. Elswick’s body and to his residence before attempting to perform CPR while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance and other emergency personnel. Mr. Elswick advised he is a male nurse.”
The charges against Mr. Elswick were referred to the grand jury March 20 after Elswick waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Elswick was released from the Letcher County Jail the next morning after posting bond of $50,000 cash.
Authorities say the Elswicks were married in October 2012 after a longterm relationship. The couple had one child together and were rearing a child of Mrs. Elswick’s from a previous marriage.
Roger Elswick was represented in the case by Whitesburg attorney James Wiley Craft.