Hunter Arrested For Accidentally Shooting Deputy

SOAP LAKE, WA — A man suspected of shooting off-duty Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy Earl Romig while hunting has been taken into custody.

Robbie Joe Marcher is suspected of firing a shot at what he thought was a coyote and instead striking Deputy Romig. He has been taken into custody for felony assault, with charges to be determined at his arraignment on Monday, January 14th.

According to a release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office:

“Detectives contacted Carl L. Marcher (66) and later his son, Robbie Joe Marcher (38) both of Moses Lake.  During the interview Carl Marcher advised both he and his son had been in the same area as Romig at approximately the same time.

“During the interview with Robbie Joe Marcher he advised detectives he had heard what he thought was a coyote, pointed his rifle in that direction, and fired one round.  Robbie Joe advised detectives he didn’t think he had hit what he thought was a coyote or had seen anything moving in that area where he had shot.  He also said he did not go check to see if he had hit anything either.”

The suspects were tracked down after a hiker who assisted Deputy Romig noticed a white, extended cab pickup leaving the area. Detectives located a vehicle matching that description parked at an address six miles northeast of Moses Lake that was on a fish and wildlife list of hunters permitted to hunt in the area of Soap Lake where the incident occurred.

Deputy Romig was struck once in the lower abdomen and underwent surgery to repair the wound and has since been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He was listed as being in serious condition Friday by Chief Criminal Deputy John Turley.