Man charged with killing Mississippi deputy, now accused of molesting children, cutting dog’s throat

Published 9:10 am Friday, March 26, 2021

The man accused of killing a Mississippi police officer now faces eight new charges stemming from accusations that he had molested younger family members and cut a dog’s throat in front of children.

Joseph Rohrbacker, the man accused of shooting and killing Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Michael Boutte, has been charged with three counts of touching a child for lustful purposes, or molestation, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child, one count of intimidating a witness, one count of aggravated animal cruelty.

The charges were revealed after attending a preliminary court hearing.

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According to WLOX News In Biloxi, the lone witness in the hearing, chief investigator, Master Sgt. Jason Gazzo with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, said that the incident began over allegations that Rohrbacker had molested younger family members. Gazzo said Rohrbacker had cut his dog’s throat before deputies arrived on the scene.

Gazzo also said that Boutte was shot twice and died from a shotgun blast to his head. Gazzo said Rohrbacker told him was shooting randomly and hoping to commit suicide by police.

The fatal shooting of Lt. Michael Boutte is under investigation by MBI. If convicted of capital murder, Rohrbacker could face a sentence of life without parole or death by lethal injection.