SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Greene County judge accepted a not-guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect for a man who paralyzed a Springfield Police Department officer by ramming into him with an SUV.

Jon Routh will be committed to the Missouri Department of Mental Health to receive treatment.

There were four impact statements given by Mark Priebe, his wife Heather, his son Conner and a letter written by his daughter was read aloud. 

If you truly do not remember it, I hope the scar from being shot by my friend and coworker serves as a daily reminder that you did something evil to someone who had never done anything to you.

Mark Priebe, in his impact statement during today’s court appearance

The common theme of all the statements is the impact this has had on their family and say Routh does not weigh on their mind at all. 

“We’re just moving forward,” Mark Priebe said. “We, Connor graduated high school. He’s moving on to college and we’re getting back to what is normal for us. And that’s our goal and our purpose and what we’ve tried to do from day one, so we’re going to continue to roll forward.”

The incident occurred at Springfield Police Headquarters in June 2020, where court documents state Routh was seen “causing a disturbance and urinating on the front door.” According to court documents, when asked to leave, Routh got into an SUV and crashed his car into an officer standing in front of the building, continuing to accelerate as the officer was pinned.

Routh was then shot in an attempt to stop the vehicle. Both Routh and the injured officer, Mark Priebe, were sent to the hospital for treatment.

Priebe was honored with a Purple Heart and a Lifetime Achievement Award at SPD’s annual awards ceremony.

Priebe now works as a school safety specialist for the Republic School District.