The Corinth man charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of his wife last fall is due back in court on Tuesday, as his lawyer and prosecutors try to work out an agreement to resolve the case.
Eric J. Rosenbrock was charged with second-degree manslaughter nearly four months ago for the shooting of Ashley Rosenbrock in the couple’s home last Nov. 15. He has been free on his own recognizance.
Mr. Rosenbrock told police the shooting was accidental, and that a 9mm semiautomatic handgun he was cleaning and re-assembling fired and hit his 34-year-old wife. State Police found no evidence to contradict his account, and the manslaughter charge alleges he acted recklessly in causing the death of another person, not that he intentionally killed her.
He has not been back in Wilton Town Court since his arraignment Feb. 11, but court staff said that they were awaiting a decision to move the case to Saratoga County Court, where felony cases are heard. Felonies can only be resolved in town, village or city courts if they are reduced to misdemeanors or less.
Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen would not comment on the case, saying only that her office was “working very hard” on it.
Mr. Rosenbrock’s lawyer, David Taffany, did not return a phone call for comment Wednesday or Thursday.
He had been represented by Saratoga Springs lawyer Kurt Mausert, who said at Rosenbrock’s arraignment that the pistol discharged as his client re-assembled it on a table while he prepared for a hunting trip the next day. Mr. Rosenbrock was not aware the barrel was pointed at his wife, and Mausert said he planned to look into whether the gun malfunctioned.
Mr. Rosenbrock, 35, is a science teacher at Lake George High School, and returned to work earlier this year after a leave of absence following the shooting. Superintendent Lynne Rutnik said he is still employed by the district and “comes in every day,” but she said she could not discuss his classroom status.
The manslaughter count is punishable by up to 5 to 15 years in state prison, although it could be pleaded down to a lesser charge with a sentence of no jail time.
The shooting had a huge impact on the Corinth area, as the Rosenbrocks were known for their community involvement, particularly after the death of one of their young children from an infection 5 years ago. They began an effort promoting “random acts of kindness” in the years that followed the death.
The couple, who had been married for 11 years and had been high school sweethearts, have three other children, who were ages 2, 5 and 10 at the time of the shooting.