Thursday, January 8, 1998
Rain slows search for officer
Current forces divers out of river

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mike Partin
COVINGTON, Ky. - Nasty weather forced a scaling back Wednesday of the search for missing police Officer Mike Partin, but experts say the same rain might help recover the body.

Divers had to leave the Ohio River because the all-day, steady rainfall made the water flow faster, endangering divers, said Assistant Covington Police Chief Bill Dorsey. But quicker currents could dislodge Officer Partin's body.

''We're expecting a lot of rain up and down the Ohio River Valley in the next couple of days,'' said Ken Crawford, public affairs spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville. ''That could move things quite a bit.''

As the search continues this morning, the man who prompted the chase that ultimately turned fatal for Officer Partin is expected to turn himself in, said his lawyer, Ken Lawson.

Shawnta Robertson, 20, will face a Hamilton County probation violation charge filed against him after the chase on the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. His probation was based in part on the condition that he not have any other contact with the law before August 1999.

If convicted of violating probation, Mr. Robertson faces having to serve the 150 days in jail that a Hamilton County judge suspended.

If Mr. Robertson answers the Hamilton County charge first, it could mean that Kenton County will not get him until his jail time there is up. He is charged in Kentucky with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and running a red light.

Meanwhile, Kenton County prosecutors continued to consider whether additional charges could be filed against Mr. Robertson because of Officer Partin's death. Commonwealth Attorney Don Buring was on the bridge Wednesday with Covington investigators, Lt. Col. Dorsey said. Mr. Buring's office would handle any felony charges.

County Attorney Garry Edmondson's office is waiting for Mr. Buring to decide what he might do. If Mr. Buring does not add charges, county prosecutors will begin investigating what they might be able to add, such as resisting arrest, said chief prosecutor Bill Crockett.

If convicted of the current Kenton County charges, Mr. Robertson could go to jail for a year for the drug charge and 30 days on the DUI and be fined as much as $1,100.

The chase began when he ran from Kenton County Police Officer Brian Kane, who had stopped him for allegedly driving through a red light. Officer Kane radioed for help. Officer Partin responded, slipping through a gap in the bridge while trying to jump from the roadway to the walkway where the chase was going on.

As the legal issues begin to proceed through the courts, the search for Officer Partin's body will continue today with searchers using a grid system to probe other areas of the river. They are convinced now that the officer's body is not in the spot just below the bridge where they had focused their search since Officer Partin fell about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Divers had to leave the water Wednesday because the all-day steady rain had increased the water's current, making it more dangerous for them to go in.

But Lt. Col. Dorsey insisted the search was not nearing an end: ''Enough is enough when we find the body.''

Wednesday's report

Pro divers added to search

Tuesday's report

Officer's family grieves at river
Bridge gap has a purpose
Borgman cartoon
Police keep taking risks for our sake Karen Samples column

Monday's report

What happened(118k gif)
Search fails to find officer
Tristate police suffer another blow
Rookie looked, acted like vet