Plea deal results in 30-year sentence


On the evening of May 8, 2014, Jackson County Officer Rick Meyer found himself in a position a police officer never wants to be put in — face to face with a person willing to harm him.

On Monday afternoon, Meyer watched that man — Isiah Tyler Roger of Brownstown — sit emotionless as he received a 30-year prison term from Jackson Circuit Judge Richard W. Poynter. It may be one of the last times Meyer sees the man who shot him once in each shoulder on a lonely stretch of State Road 39 just south of Tampico on that day more than a year ago.

“Me and my family are glad that it’s over and we don’t have to worry about any upcoming hearings,” Meyer said. “We can put this behind us knowing he’s going to be (locked up).”

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Meyer said his family was happy with the plea deal that led to Poytner sentencing the 19-year-old Roger to 30 years. The deal called for the state to dismiss two additional charges — aggravated battery and carrying a handgun with a prior conviction.

Meyer shot Roger once in the arm during the incident while investigating a report of two suspicious people on State Road 39. A second man surrendered to Meyer after being ordered to come out from beneath a bridge.

While talking with that man, Roger came out and opened fire. Both Meyer and Roger were flown to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Meyer was released that night, and Roger was released later in the week.

Roger told police he “wanted to die by cop” when he pulled out the gun and fired six shots at Meyer.

Meyer has said he forgives Roger for his actions that night and felt he was just doing his job during the incident.

Roger sat quietly during the brief hearing, attended by few people except police officers, jailers and court security. He did not testify during the hearing, answering a couple of questions asked by Poynter with a simple “yes.” Neither his Indianapolis attorney, Brooke Russell, nor Jackson County Prosecutor AmyMarie Travis presented any evidence or testimony during the hearing.

Travis said she was happy with the sentence.

“I think when we finished with discovery, we had produced overwhelming evidence that he was guilty of attempted murder as opposed to a lesser-included offense, and at that point, it became clear that the right thing to do was for him to plead guilty,” she said. “My utmost concern was that we supported Deputy Meyer through his injuries and what happened to him and we were able to do that.”

Roger also received a three-year suspended sentence from Poynter for a kidnapping conviction in a separate incident in August 2014 involving an inmate.

That charge stems from an incident at the jail in which Roger and another inmate were fighting. During the fight, Roger forcefully moved the inmate from one location in the jail to another, which led to the kidnapping charge. The other inmate also sustained injuries, leading to a battery resulting in bodily injury charge against Roger. Poynter granted the state’s request to drop that charge in exchange for the guilty plea in the kidnapping charge.

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