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Mother of Libby Shooting Victim Critical of County Attorney’s Decision

Lincoln County Attorney said Lois Olbekson acted in self-defense after shooting and killing Michael Roloff in December

The mother of a Kalispell man who was shot and killed in December claims the Lincoln County Attorney did a “sloppy job” investigating the incident.

Ferrial Roloff expressed frustration in Lincoln County Attorney Bernard Cassidy’s decision not to press charges against Lois Olbekson, the Libby woman who shot and killed, Michael Roloff, the husband of Olbekson’s daughter.

In a letter to Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe, Cassidy wrote that his investigation found Olbekson had acted in self-defense when she shot Michael Roloff in her driveway.

“The County Attorney is overloaded and he didn’t do his job and so he’s trying to push this under the rug,” Ferrial Roloff told the Beacon. “He’s pretending that this did not happen, but it did. My son is still dead.”

On Dec. 26, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a shooting on Glendora Avenue in Libby. When police arrived, officers found Michael Roloff lying unresponsive in the driveway. According to Cassidy, the investigation found that Roloff was threatening Olbekson, his wife, Meagan Cody, and others in the home in the hours before the shooting.

Cody and Roloff were married for six years but were in the process of getting separated. The couple had a troubled relationship and Roloff was abusive and violent in the past, according to Cassidy’s letter and documents in the Flathead County District Court.

Evidence at the scene of the shooting suggested that Roloff had lunged toward Olbekson moments before he was shot and killed. Montana Code Annotated states that someone is justified to use force “likely to cause death or serious bodily harm” if the person reasonably believes their life is in danger.

The county attorney sent the case in early March to the Montana Attorney General’s Prosecution Services Bureau for review. Cassidy wrote that after consulting with Assistant Attorney General Brent Light, he decided against charging Olbekson with homicide.

“Although this is not an easy decision to make, a prosecutor’s duty is to follow the law and seek the truth. A prosecutor is also ethically forbidden from charging an offense when he or she does not believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the evidence and the law will support a conviction,” Cassidy wrote. “While I understand that the loss of a loved one is never easy on anyone and many will not agree or be happy with this decision, I will not file charges against Lois Olbekson.”

Ferrial Roloff said she plans to take legal action following the decision.