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Published: Thursday, 3/14/2013

Reversal of Ottawa Hills shooting verdict on hold

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold an appeals court decision that reversed the conviction of a former Ottawa Hills police officer for shooting a motorcyclist.

In a 4-3 decision, the court agreed to stay the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals’ ruling Jan. 11 ordering a new trial for Thomas White, 30, until it decides whether to consider an appeal. Justices Maureen O’Connor, Terrence O’Donnell, and Judith French dissented.

White was found guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in May, 2010, of felonious assault with a gun specification for the May, 2009, shooting of Michael McCloskey. The bullet severed Mr. McCloskey’s spine, paralyzing him from the waist down.

White, a part-time police officer, was sentenced in June, 2010, to 10 years in prison, but has remained free on $100,000 bond pending his appeal.

The appellate court ruled that the jury hearing White’s case was not given proper instructions of law and thus did not have proper information before deliberating.

The appellate court also dismissed the mandatory three-year gun specification from the charge.

The village and Mr. McCloskey in October reached a $5 million settlement of a federal lawsuit he filed against the village and White claiming his civil rights were violated.

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