Deaths Defended

Deaths Defended
Posted by FoM on January 08, 2002 at 10:36:11 PT
By Adam Jackson, Tribune Staff Writer 
Source: South Bend Tribune
The late Grover "Tom" Crosslin and Rolland Rohm have no one to blame but themselves, Cass County Prosecutor Scott Teter said Monday.By flouting a Cass County Circuit Court order and holding a festival at their Rainbow Farm campground near Vandalia, the men set a chain of events into motion that would end in the Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 deaths of both, Teter said.
In a news conference held in the Cass County Courthouse on Monday, Teter announced that he was closing his criminal investigation into the five-day Labor Day weekend standoff at Rainbow Farm Campground, 59896 Pemberton Road.Teter said his investigation showed conclusively that the deaths of both men at the hands of law-enforcement sharpshooters were justifiable homicides under Michigan law."I have no sympathy for" Rohm or Crosslin, Teter said. "None of the officers who fired on them did so without justification."Standing at a podium at the Cass County Courthouse's Kincheloe Room on Monday in front of a room packed with reporters and cameras, he proceeded to lay out in detail the events up to, during, and following the Sept. 3 killing of Crosslin, 46, and the Sept. 4 death of Rohm, 28.It all started, Teter said, when the men elected to hold a festival at the campground Aug. 17 and 18, violating a temporary injunction against holding events at the campground ordered by Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael E. Dodge.Because of that violation, and because undercover officers at the festival had allegedly viewed Crosslin and Rohm using drugs, Teter filed for an order to show cause and a motion to revoke the $150,000 bond on felony drug charges filed against the men after a search warrant allegedly turned up a marijuana growing operation at a historic home owned by Crosslin along Michigan 60 west of Vandalia.The hearing on the show cause order and the motion to revoke bond were slated to be heard on Aug. 31 at 1:30 p.m. EDT in Cass County Circuit Court.But Crosslin and Rohm never showed. Instead, around noon that day, an anonymous call came in to the Cass County Sheriff's Department that there was a fire at the campground."Shortly after that, we received a call informing us that the fire was a trick to get firemen to come to the property so they could be ambushed," Teter said. "The caller said Crosslin was patrolling his property in full camouflage, carrying a rifle."Then, around 1:30 p.m., people on the ground within the campground allegedly began to fire weapons at aircraft flying over the area. When a bullet passed through the tail of a helicopter owned by WNDU-TV, Channel 16, South Bend, authorities decided to call in the Federal Bureau of Investigation."Shooting at an aircraft is a federal offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison," Teter said. "We knew that these men were armed, and that they were not coming out."With Crosslin and Rohm hiding in the private house at the front of the property along Pemberton Road, FBI agents and Michigan State Police troopers set up positions around the perimeter of the campground to "protect the public safety," Teter said. Cass County Sheriff's deputies blocked nearby roads to keep away curious onlookers. Forgotten Coffeepot It was FBI agents in these posts who first spotted Crosslin on Sept. 3, when he left the house accompanied by 18-year-old Brandon Peoples, an acquaintance who managed to sneak onto the campground property and join Crosslin and Rohm.Crosslin and Peoples headed up a trail to the home of a nearby neighbor to steal food and a coffeemaker, and were allowed to pass within a few feet of three hidden FBI snipers despite Crosslin reportedly being armed with a Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic rifle."Unfortunately, they forgot to get the pot that goes with the coffeemaker," Teter said.So, at around 5:30 p.m., Crosslin and Peoples headed back up the trail to get the coffeepot. This time, Teter said, Crosslin spotted an FBI special agent with the last name Salomon, (no first name was available from Cass County or federal authorities Monday) and reportedly raised the rifle to his shoulder to fire.But Salomon and another agent, identified as an FBI special agent with the last name of Heffron, fired first."Salomon and Heffron fired at the same time," Teter said. "Salomon's bullet went through the left side of Crosslin's head, killing him instantly."Heffron's bullet, however, went through a small tree and shattered into multiple pieces causing small wounds to Crosslin's right side A Desperate Flight After receiving news of Crosslin's death, Rohm began negotiating with police. Rohm agreed to surrender on one condition: That he be allowed to speak with his estranged 12-year-old son, Robert.Arrangements were made to bring the boy to the police command center at the old Bivouac recreational vehicle factory along Michigan 60, where he would speak with his father at 7 a.m. Sept. 4.But shortly after 6 a.m., a fire flared up at the house where Rohm was hiding.He reportedly ran out of the back of the home after the blaze started, armed with another Ruger Mini-14 and dressed in camouflage.To prevent his escape, Teter said an eight-wheeled light armored vehicle (LAV) borrowed from the Michigan National Guard was positioned along the front of the property, with 10 men inside."When the (LAV) came around the front of the house, Rohm raised his rifle up at it," Teter said. "A sniper observed this and fired a shot at him, with the bullet passing through the stock of (Rohm's) rifle and hitting him."Michigan State Police Troopers Daniel Lubelan and John Julin, who are part of the agency's statewide Emergency Services Team, fired a total of 10 shots at Rohm, who died on the spot.An autopsy conducted by Dr. Stephen Cohle of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids showed that the killing shot had passed through his shoulder and throat. Another bullet entered his right thigh and exited through his belly. Justifiable Killing After a painstaking recollection of the events during the standoff, Teter said that the shootings of both men fell under the category of justifiable homicide. Crosslin's death was a case of self-defense and Rohm's death falling under the category of the Michigan "defense of others'" law, Teter said.Both laws require the shooter to follow three rules.First, there must be an honest and reasonable belief that a life is endangered. Second, the threatening person may not be killed if there is only a threat of minor injury to the victim. Third, the shooter must believe the shooting is reasonably necessary to avoid the killing of an innocent person."In Crosslin's case, it came down to a question of 'do you shoot him or do you die?'," Teter said. "Under Michigan law, both of these shootings were justifiable homicide."But nearly everybody wishes it had never come to this.Lt. Mike Risko, public information officer with the Michigan State Police 5th District headquarters in Paw Paw, Mich., said that MSP personnel involved in the standoff acted responsibly, but it was a peaceful resolution that everyone had been hoping for."We didn't want it to come out that way. The hope going in was, what a lot of people say in anger, they won't actually do," he said. "What we were hoping for, that they'd calm down and think better of it, didn't happen"FBI Special Agent Dawn Clenney of the Detroit field office declined Monday to comment on the case or on the agents involved. She said that the internal investigation into the shooting of Crosslin is "ongoing." Rainbow Farm Postscript: After the smoke from the Rainbow Farm campground five-day standoff over Labor Day weekend had cleared, authorities set about the task of cleaning up the mess. While searching the interior of a house owned by late Rainbow Farm owner Grover "Tom" Crosslin, 46, along Michigan 60 west of Vandalia, authorities came across an unsigned letter that may have provided some insight into possible reasons for the bloodshed. Here is the letter in its entirety: The time has past (sic) for a peaceful solution to this nation's drug war. Our government has destroyed our families. The action we must take now is not what we wanted. We would have prefered (sic) a peaceful end to the drug war, but it was denid (sic) so theay (sic) must live with the consaquinses (sic). No longer are we talking peace. The government must be stopped. (Cass County Prosecutor) Scott Teter knew what was coming, the same with the "rubber stamp" (Cass County Circuit Court) Judge (Michael E.) Dodge. Our police no longer serve and protect us. We need (to be) protected from peopel (sic) we hire to protect us. This (expletive) is over. "Let the battel (sic) begin." Live with it.Source: Cass County Prosecutor Scott Teter Note: Teter clears officials of blame in Rainbow Farm standoffTribune Staff Writers Lou Mumford and Ashley Lowery contributed to this report.Source: South Bend Tribune (IN)Author: Adam Jackson, Tribune Staff Writer Published: January 8, 2002 Copyright: 2002 South Bend TribuneContact: vop sbtinfo.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Tom Crosslin & Rollie Rohm Memorial Says Authorities Acted Properly Rainbow of Support
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Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on January 08, 2002 at 17:41:25 PT
Why handcuffed a dead man?
I belong to a rainbow farm list and one of the member stated that she saw the tape where Rollie was handcuffed.Why would one handcuff a dying "dead" man?ff
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Comment #1 posted by QcStrt on January 08, 2002 at 16:47:12 PT
over kill
FBI special agent, Know have war time ammunition that we used in V NAM it splits into 4-6 pices and at 100 yeards it is 16 
to 18 inchs apart. So this shows that he was a lot closer like 8 to 12 yards away. Teter said an eight-wheeled light armored vehicle (LAV) borrowed from the Michigan
   National Guard was positioned along the front of the property, with 10 men inside.
WERE TERRORIST. and the govt. made the first move by moving in with this type of force. All of this is over Kill.The D.E.A. is the ROGUE part of the US govt. that is killing the people. It would appear that this dept. of the govt. receives it's 
money ( pay ) by taking the property from people that are Destitute in it's raids of the sick and poor that can not fend for them 
self. This dept. should be ABOLISH for the sake of the people, and the Agents should be put to pasture so they can get a 
live, and God forbid they get a disease and the pain is 7 times 70 and the only cure is CANNABIS and there is nun because 
there former boss wipe it out. 
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