Convicted former Hadley officer ordered to federal prison

  • Christopher Roeder, left, was convicted of using unreasonable force during a 2017 arrest. U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

SPRINGFIELD — A federal judge has denied former Hadley police officer Christopher Roeder’s request to stay his 14-month prison sentence while he appeals a conviction for breaking an arrested man’s nose and then falsifying a police report about the incident in 2017.

United States District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni on Tuesday ordered Roeder to report to federal prison on Nov. 5. In June, Roeder was sentenced after a jury found him guilty of deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of a document.

The charges stem from an April 2017 incident where Roeder struck a man he arrested, Nickolas Peters, in the face with his elbow while Peters was sitting on a bench in booking in the Hadley Police Department. Roeder broke his nose, which required surgery to fix. A subsequent police report written by Roeder about the incident was found to have two intentionally false statements.

Though Roeder’s request for a stay on his sentence was denied, Mastroianni did allow for a stay of employment disabilities related to his military service. According to the order, the U.S. Army has initiated separation proceedings against Roeder, which have since been stayed pending his appeal.

If Roeder is discharged with an “other than honorable” characterization, the appeal process with the military could take a year, Mastroianni’s order states​. Since Roeder and his family would lose his benefits forever even if his conviction is overturned and he wins a military separation appeal, the judge directed the Army to delay any decision that would prevent Roeder from receiving benefits until his appeal is resolved.

According to the order, the court had stayed Roeder’s sentence two times after his sentencing, once in August and again in September.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.