Man convicted of manslaughter accused of being “Drug ring leader” by prosecutor

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ATHENS, Ohio – According to the Athens County Prosecutor, Roger Rutter, 50, of Glouster, appeared in Athens County Common Pleas Court Monday to answer charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and aggravated possession of drugs — charges related to his alleged activity as the leader of an area drug ring.

An information release from the prosecutor explained that Rutter pleaded not guilty to the charges, and Judge Patrick Lang ordered him placed under a bond of one million dollars.

First Assistant Prosecutor Meg Saunders argued for the million-dollar bond, citing Rutter as a
“substantial flight risk.”

Saunders pointed out that Rutter was aware that law enforcement was searching to execute an arrest warrant on him because he shared a media release to that effect on his own Facebook account. She also cited that Rutter ran from law enforcement when spotted near the Burr Oak Dam and that Rutter hid from police during the search of the Glouster home where he was eventually found.

Saunders also said the high bond was necessary because Rutter continues similar activity for which he served time in prison for involuntary manslaughter before being released in 2020. Rutter was incarcerated after Mackensie Roberts died in his home after he and his wife, Tammy, gave her drugs and she overdosed. Rutter has also been charged with four unrelated counts of hunting without permission and two counts of prohibited acts for allegedly cultivating wild ginseng out of season.

When Rutter was arrested, Daniel Meade, 42, of Glouster, was charged for harboring Rutter from law enforcement. Monday, Meade was indicted on three third-degree felonies of obstructing justice. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Rutter for May 12 and a jury trial is slated for June 22.

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