Jury selection begins in murder trial for man accused of killing a Columbus police officer

Lincoln Rutledge, 44

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Attorneys for the man accused of killing a Columbus police SWAT officer have petitioned the court to question perspective jurors about their views on the death penalty.

The murder trial for Lincoln Rutledge, 44, starts Monday morning. His defense attorneys, Jefferson Liston and Mitch Williams, proposed jury instructions for the court to using in selecting a jury.

The statement reads:

“As you know this case involves the ultimate punishment under the law-death as a potential sentence. Therefore it is critical for both the State of Ohio and for Mr. Rutledge that you fully participate in honestly answering questions concerning your opinion and view of the death penalty and other issues.”

SWAT Officer Steven M. Smith

Rutledge is charged with 11 counts including two for aggravated murder, one for aggravated arson along with eight for attempted murder and felonious assault.

SWAT Officer Steven Smith was shot in the head after Rutledge allegedly fired nearly a dozen shot from his West California apartment on April 10, 2016 at police. Smith died two days later.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Rutledge admitted to investigators he intended to shoot at police when they came to serve a warrant on him for arson at his ex-wife’s home.

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