Criminal & Civil Justice News

Judge to rule on reopening ’72 shooting of Ohio officer


Defense attorney Robert Essex argues against a request by prosecutors to bring his client, Charles Hays, to trial for the 1972 nonfatal shooting of a Columbus police officer, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Essex said the state violated Hays rights to a speedy trial by letting almost 45 years pass before moving forward with the case. Essex also said Hays is in poor health and might not be able to stand the rigors of a trial. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge is set to announce whether prosecutors can bring an 82-year-old suspect to trial in the nonfatal shooting of an Ohio police officer almost 45 years ago.

Defendant Charles Hays was indicted but never prosecuted following the 1972 shooting, as the case fell through the cracks.

Columbus police officer Niki Cooper was hit in the left arm when he and his partner interrupted a burglary.

Franklin County Judge Guy Reece heard arguments last week and plans to rule Thursday morning.

Cooper never regained full use of his injured arm. He died just over three years ago at the age of 71.

Hays’ lawyer says reopening the case would violate Hays’ constitutional right to a speedy trial.


Source: AP

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