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Published: Thursday, 3/24/2011

Randleman indicted in killing

Man may face death penalty in Sandusky officer's slaying

BLADE STAFF

Kevin Randleman was indicted for aggravated murder, having a weapon under disability, and carrying a concealed weapon. Kevin Randleman was indicted for aggravated murder, having a weapon under disability, and carrying a concealed weapon.
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SANDUSKY -- The 50-year-old man accused of killing a Sandusky police officer could face the death penalty.

Kevin Randleman of Sandusky was indicted yesterday morning by an Erie County grand jury for aggravated murder, having a weapon under disability, and carrying a concealed weapon. As a part of the murder charge, a death penalty specification was added because the victim was an on-duty police officer. A gun specification also was added.

In a death penalty case, a jury hears two phases of the trial and must decide first whether the defendant is guilty of the crime and then whether to recommend the death penalty as a sentence.

Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn was shot several times in the early morning hours of March 19 after stopping Randleman, who was riding a bicycle on Sandusky's Tyler Street.

Officer Dunn was the first Sandusky officer to be killed in the line of duty, police Chief Jim Lang said.

The chief said Officer Dunn pulled Randleman over because he was riding the bicycle on Sandusky's Tyler Street at 3 a.m. without lights.

"He was probably just going to give him a warning to get on the sidewalk," Chief Lang said yesterday.

Randleman did not immediately stop when Officer Dunn ordered him to pull over, which can be heard in a recording of radio traffic between Officer Dunn and dispatchers.

Randleman fired all six shots from a Colt Detective's Special 38-caliber revolver at Officer Dunn, hitting him five times, the chief said.

The officer fired back 12 shots from his service weapon, striking Randleman twice in the arm. The suspect was charged with the officer's slaying at the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio, where he was taken for the gunshot wounds.

Officer Dunn was shot three times in the back and once in the left forearm. A fifth bullet was caught by the officer's bulletproof vest before penetrating his body, authorities said. Officer Dunn was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. A Lucas County Coroner's report said the officer died within minutes of the shooting.

At least seven of the other shots fired by the officer hit six windows at Firelands Regional Medical Center -- where doctors' offices are housed -- as Randleman was running away, authorities said.

Chief Lang again said yesterday he was prevented from releasing audio and video from Officer Dunn's dashboard mounted camera.

"The prosecutor said we can't release it because it is evidence and a defense attorney has a court order not to release it, also because it is evidence," he said.

Police departments in Ohio routinely release such videos in the wake of a shooting to comply with the state's open records laws.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter could not be reached for comment.

In a written statement, Mr. Baxter said that "due to the death penalty indictment, two attorneys certified in representing indigent defendants in capital cases will be appointed as Randleman's counsel."

The suspect remained hospitalized yesterday. After release, Randleman will be held without bond at the Erie County jail, Mr. Baxter said.



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