Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman announced Wednesday the filing of an additional criminal charge against jail inmate Zachary Cowger for battery resulting in injury upon a public safety officer, a Level 5 felony. Level 5 felonies are punishable by up to 6 years of imprisonment.
As noted in court documents, it is alleged that on September 13th at approximately 8:25 p.m. Marshall County Police and Plymouth Police were dispatched to the Marshall County Jail regarding a combative inmate. Plymouth EMS was also dispatched for an injured jail officer. Stg. Nick Laffoon of the Sheriff’s Department investigated the incident and found that combative inmate Zachary Cowger had injured jail officer Billy Schoff.
Officer Laffoon went to the emergency room at the Plymouth Hospital where Officer Schoff said Cowger had been violating jail rules and was angry that his cell door was closed. When Schoff went into the large pod area to confront Cowger, it is alleged Cowger struck Officer Schoff several times with his fists causing Schoff to lose consciousness, fall to the floor, suffer pain and endure a laceration above his right eye requiring emergency medical attention and numerous sutures.
Chipman notes that this alleged incident occurred one day after Cowger’s attorney filed a plea argument in two pending criminal cases. One case charges Cowger with two counts of intimidation with a deadly weapon, both Level 5 felonies, a count of battery resulting in bodily injury, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. The second case charges Cowger with battery resulting in bodily injury on a police officer, a Level 5 felony, and resisting law enforcement. On those two cases, Cowger is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Robert O. Bowen of Marshall Superior Court Number 1 on November 2, 2017.
Bond has been set on the new criminal charge at $20,000 cash. An initial hearing court date has not yet been set.
Listeners and readers are reminded that criminal charges are mere allegations and that the person so charged is presumed innocent of all allegations unless or until proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.