Jay Allen Rotter
Jay Allen Rotter is a Texas sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot his paralyzed girlfriend and then claimed to authorities she took her own life, Denton police said in a statement.
Rotter, a deputy since 2005 who was assigned to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, called 911 on the night of August 26, saying that his girlfriend, who was paralyzed and used a wheelchair, had died by suicide.
The Texas sheriff’s deputy was arrested Monday on charges of murder.
Jay Allen Rotter
36-year-old Rotter, from Tarrant County, Texa was arrested Monday on charges of murder and evidence tampering in the death of his paralyzed girlfriend, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Officers arrived at the home in the 2400 block of Robinwood Lane after being called by Rotter on August 26 and found the woman, identified as 46-year-old Leslie Lynn Hartman, dead inside.
Rotter reported to responding officers that Hartman shot herself in their home.
She was paralyzed and used a wheelchair, local 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 herself if he could have, the affidavit states.
Jay Allen Rotter Under Investigation
However, 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.
Rotter later declined when a detective asked to take a look at his phone and reset the device 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 that investigators said referred to the deadly shooting, according to the affidavit.
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.
Hartman’s autopsy is still listed as pending, the newspaper reports.