Judge Shaves Sentence for Rogue Cop

WINNSBORO – The former Winnsboro Public Safety officer who pled guilty to a reduced charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and received a 17-year sentence last month for his 2012 attempt on his wife’s life had his sentence reduced Monday afternoon by Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Brooks P. Goldsmith.

Goldsmith, who handed down the original sentence against Michael Bernard Roseboro on April 11, shaved five years off the term following an emotional appeal by the shooting victim, Keisha Roseboro.

“The only thing that really has changed (since April 11) is the statement made in this court by Mrs. Roseboro,” Goldsmith said, following her appeal, “which I find to be one of the most compelling statements I’ve ever seen made on behalf of a defendant.”

Michael Roseboro was originally charged with attempted murder and faced a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Roseboro was on duty with the Department of Public Safety when, at around 9:15 p.m. Oct. 28, he drove his patrol car to the home of his estranged wife, Keisha Roseboro, at 148 8th Street and shot her one time with his service weapon. Roseboro fled the scene in his squad car, prompting a search that lasted four days. Roseboro was surrounded by agents from the State Law Enforcement Division at Camp Welfare on Nov. 1 and, in the middle of negotiating his surrender with Fairfield County Chief Deputy Keith Lewis, shot himself one time in the chest as officers closed in.

Monday afternoon, Keisha Roseboro told the court she never expected her husband to get so much jail time, and that she was concerned mainly for their children, at least one of whom witnessed the October shooting.

“When you gave him 17 years, I thought that was a very long time,” Keisha Roseboro said. “I understand the seriousness of this case. This happened to me. Did my heart break? Yes. I never hated him before this. I love him. His little boy will be 22 when he gets out.

“I’m so tired of seeing the kids cry,” she said. “I don’t want to go home and tell them there’s been no change. We have to go home with this every day. We have to read it in the paper. Some people might not understand why I’m doing this. I was the victim, but I’m truly sorry.”

The prosecution, headed by Assistant Solicitor Riley Maxwell, told the court it felt like Michael Roseboro had already been given an adequate sentence.

“There were several prior incidents of violent domestic disturbances,” Maxwell said. “This did happen while he was on duty. He went over there without any provocation, in his patrol car, shot her at close range without any type of argument leading up to it. He pointed the gun and pulled the trigger and his intention was to kill her. He didn’t shoot at her legs or her feet; he shot like someone who shoots who is trying to kill somebody. There’s not any justification at this time for another bite of the apple, so to speak. ‘We don’t like the sentence, so give us another shot at it,’ is not a strong basis for reconsideration.

“The state did not reduce the charge from attempted murder to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature because of any deficiency in facts or lack of evidence,” Maxwell said. “We did so to get a plea done and still get a satisfactory judgment, and that is what the state believes Mr. Roseboro received last month.”

Goldsmith reduced Roseboro’s sentence from 17 to 12 years.

Roseboro had been with the Department of Public Safety for three months at the time of the shooting and had also served with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office from 2001 to 2010, first as a deputy and finally as an investigator. He was fired for lying to County officials about the sale of a fire department pumper truck.

Keisha Roseboro has since filed a civil lawsuit against the Department of Public Safety on behalf of herself and her two children who witnesses the shooting.

The suit, filed Feb. 26, claims that the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety was negligent in hiring and retaining Michael Roseboro, knowing that “prior to October of 2012, multiple parties have filed claims and made allegations indicating that (Michael) Roseboro had a history of using excessive force and/or engaging in other conduct that indicated he was mentally unstable and or had a tendency to engage in violent behavior,” the complaint states.

According to the complaint, The Winnsboro Department of Public Safety “knew, or should have known, that the continued employment of (Michael) Roseboro would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others.”

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