Death penalty indictment returned against man charged with killing CPD Officer

Lincoln Rutledge

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced, Tuesday, he has returned a death penalty indictment against Lincoln Rutledge, the man accused of killing Columbus Police Officer Steven Smith.

steven smith
Columbus Police Officer Steven Smith

O’Brien announced that a Franklin County Grand Jury returned an 11 count death penalty against the suspect accused of shooting Officer Smith, 54, during a SWAT standoff on California Avenue in Clintonville.

Rutledge was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, one count of aggravated arson, and eight counts of attempted murder and felonious assault.

O’Brien said “There are two counts of Aggravated Murder for the death of Officer Smith because under Ohio law there are different ways to commit the crime of Aggravated Murder and it is my practice to charge all ways that the crime was committed.”

The aggravated arson charge comes after investigators said Rutledge set his estranged wife’s home on fire.

When officers attempted to serve a warrant on Rutledge for the arson, he refused to come out, which lead to the standoff.

Police said Rutledge fired several shots at officers, including the one fatally struck Smith.

Another officer was struck in his bullet proof vest, according to O’Brien.

Rutledge is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning.

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