Gregory Rouzer, an inmate of the Pine Grove State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania, has been charged yet again for hiring a hit man to kill Randy Walters, the Associated Press reports. Although Gregory Rouzer has been incarcerated since 2008, he is not letting prison bars deter him. Rouzer originally attempted to kill Randy Walters and Walters’ girlfriend, Marian Wertz, at their residence on February 7, 2008. Marian had noticed Rouzer’s leg sticking out from behind their shed at 7:30 a.m. and she woke Walters. There had been ongoing trouble between the parties. When Walters went to investigate, Rouzer ambushed him. Randy Walters was shot three times with a rifle, once in the neck, elbow, and upper arm. Walters returned fire with a shotgun, injuring Gregory Rouzer in the leg. After eight days on the run, Rouzer surrendered outside the Chambersburg Hospital without incident.
Gregory Rouzer was convicted of attempted homicide, aggravated assault with serious bodily injury while using a deadly weapon, and criminal trespassing, according to the Herald Times. Neither the judge nor the jury believed Rouzer’s statement that he had been invited to go squirrel hunting by Walters and that the shooting had been an accident.
In 2009, Gregory Rouzer was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years and 7 months with a maximum of 50 years in prison. The incident stemmed from a relationship that Marian Wertz had with Gregory Rouzer’s brother, Gary Rouzer. Sixteen years prior, Wertz had been engaged to Gary Rouzer and he attempted suicide. Wertz stated she had been continually harassed by his family because they blamed her for the incident. In 2009, Wertz stated she suffered from anxiety and panic attacks due to the ongoing stress. Wertz also stated she altered her routine, changed cars, and stated she felt more like a criminal than a victim. Wertz’s daughter fears that her mother will eventually be murdered.
In 2009, while Gregory Rouzer was awaiting the first trial, he attempted again to kill Randy Walters and Marian Wertz, this time from his prison cell. An informant tipped off the police of Rouzer’s plot. An undercover trooper was placed in Rouzer’s cell. Rouzer proceeded to give him $1000 and drugs for the hit. The police were also monitoring Rouzer’s phone calls and discovered that Rouzer’s girlfriend at the time, Mildred Tressler, was involved in the murder-for-hire. Tressler was charged with criminal solicitation and hindering apprehension. Tressler received five years probation as part of a plea agreement. The charge of criminal solicitation against Tressler was dropped. Gregory Rouzer was convicted for a second time in neighboring Franklin County Court after pleading no contest to criminal solicitation to commit the murder of Randy Walters and Marian Wertz. Rouzer received an additional five to ten years. Randy Walters’ reply to the sentences was, “Not enough years.”
Still incarcerated, Gregory Rouzer, 48, and new girlfriend, Laraine Patterson, 54, of Aliquippa, Pa, were charged on Monday with yet a third attempt on Randy Walters’ life. Another inmate reported the information to police last August. An undercover trooper, calling herself “Joanie Pepperoni,” posed as an in-between for the hit man. At the end of January, outside of a store, “Pepperoni” met with Laraine Patterson as agreed. Patterson allegedly gave “Pepperoni” a down payment of $1000, a portion of the $5000 promised for the murder of Randy Walters. Charges were filed against Gregory Rouzer and Laraine Patterson last Friday, according to WTAE. Bail was set at $75,000 for Patterson and she remains in the Indiana County jail. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for February 29. No attorneys have been named yet for either Gregory Rouzer or Laraine Patterson. If he is ever released from prison, Gregory Rouzer will not have the right to possess a firearm but it’s doubtful that will comfort his victims.
[Gregory Rouzer Mugshot/Image via Franklin County Sheriff’s Office]