The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday formally charged a 30-year-old Perkinston man with Capital Murder in the Feb. 1 shooting death of Hancock County Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Boutte Sr.

“Joseph Michael Rohrbacker has been arrested and charged with Capital Murder in connection with an incident that happened on Feb. 1 in the 30000 block of Earl C. Ladner Road in Hancock County,” accoriding to a statement issued Tuesday afternoon by MSG. Justin Elkins of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

On Feb. 1, “deputies with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office responded to Earl C. Ladner Road for a welfare concern,” Elkins said. “Upon arrival, deputies encountered gunfire from the suspect. In the gunfire exchange, both Hancock County Deputy Lieutenant Michael Boutte and the suspect sustained gunshot wounds. Lieutenant Boutte ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Rohrbacker has been receiving treatment for his injuries in Louisiana since the incident occurred.”

At about 9 a.m. Tuesday, MBI special agents, with assistance from the Louisiana State Police, “arrested 30-year-old Rohrbacker without incident,” Elkins said.

Rohrbacker is now being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center, Elkins said.

Under Mississippi statutes, conviction on a Capital Murder charge carries the possibility of a death sentence or a life sentence without possibility of parole.

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