Somerset Man Indicted for Attempting to Kill Township Police Officers

Archie Ashley

Archie Ashley
Photo: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office

A 26-year-old Somerset man who police said tried to kill a township police officer during a struggle last summer has been indicted on several charges, including attempted murder.

An indictment charging Archie L. Ashley with five counts of 1st Degree attempted murder, 1st Degree disarming a police officer, 2nd Degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, 3rd Degree resisting arrest, burglary, theft and criminal mischief was returned Nov. 21 by a Somerset County Grand Jury, according to a press release from Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano.

Police said the incident that led to the charges occurred on Aug. 13 when police were sent to a Buttonwood Drive home on a call of an activated burglar alarm. Police talked to the homeowner who said that when she arrived home, she saw that a living room window had been broken and that there were blood drippings on the floor.

Police cleared the house, then began searching the area.

A township officer saw a man who was later identified as Ashley walking toward the rear of St. Matthias Church on John F. Kennedy Boulevard, police said. He ordered the man to stop, and the man complied, police said. The officer noted that the man was wearing a white shirt with what appeared to be fresh blood stains.

Ashley soon stopped cooperating with the officer, police said, and then became aggressive toward him. A fight ensued after the officer told Ashley he was placing him under arrest, during which time the two went to the ground.

During the struggle, police said, Ashley was able to remove the officer’s gun from its holster. Ashley threatened to kill the officer and fired a shot at close range, barely missing him, police said.

By this time, additional Franklin patrol units arrived on the scene. Ashley fired another shot while the five officers tried to disarm him, police said,

After being disarmed, Ashley continued to fight, police said, throwing punches from the ground.

Officers involved in the incident were taken to a local hospital, police said, where they were treated and released.

Ashley remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail, no cash option.

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