MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) — Court records show the suspect the fatal shooting of an Ohio police officer has a lengthy criminal record and in one case tried to claim he was legally insane.
Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer said Herschel Ray Jones III is being held in connection with the slaying late Sunday of Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell. Cottrell’s body was found behind the village’s municipal building after a woman reported her ex-boyfriend had weapons and was looking to kill an officer.
Knox County court records show the 32-year-old Jones has multiple convictions for breaking and entering, burglary, receiving stolen property and carrying a concealed weapon dating back to 2001. In a 2011 case, he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity before changing his plea to guilty.
Ohio prison records show he served nearly four years for the 2011 convictions of burglary and receiving stolen property. He was released last April.
Officer’s death a reminder police are targets
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) — The president of Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police says the death of a village policeman is the latest reminder that officers are often targeted for violence.
Ohio FOP President Jay McDonald says in a statement that the organization’s 25,000 members are heartbroken over the “assassination” of Cottrell in the village. That’s about 60 miles northeast of Columbus in Knox County.
He asks all Ohioans to pray for peace and healing for the officer’s family.