Man who shot Ohio judge was stopped earlier for faulty headlight

This 2016 booking photo released Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, by the Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office shows Nathaniel Richmond, who authorities said shot and wounded a judge outside a county courthouse Monday in Steubenville, Ohio, before being gunned down by a probation officer. (Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office via AP)

STEUBENVILLE, OH (AP) — The man who shot a judge outside a courthouse was stopped by a police officer hours earlier for having a defective headlight as he drove downtown in the early morning darkness, authorities said.

The suspect, 51-year-old Nathaniel Richmond, was fatally shot Monday after wounding Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr., who’s expected to survive.

The shooting happened about four hours after Richmond was warned about his headlights during the traffic stop, The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Registerin nearby West Virginia reported.

Richmond arrived at a neighboring bank a short while before the shooting, left, then returned and walked quickly toward the judge from a parked car and fired, and the judge returned fire, said Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

Surveillance video captured the scene in Steubenville in eastern Ohio, Abdalla said.

Bruzzese, 65, was overseeing a wrongful-death case that Richmond filed against a housing authority over a fire that killed Richmond’s mother and his 2-year-old nephew.

A hearing on a motion by the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority to dismiss punitive damages claims was set for Aug. 28. Attorneys for the agency declined to comment Monday. Messages were left for Richmond’s attorneys in the lawsuit.

Court records show Richmond was arrested in April 2016 on charges of driving-under-the-influence and driving with expired plates, with the DUI charge ultimately downgraded to reckless operation. Several years ago he was arrested on various domestic violence and assault charges, court records show.

Richmond was the father of a Steubenville High School football player convicted of rape in 2013. Ma’Lik Richmond is now a member of the Youngstown State football team.

A visiting judge handled Ma’Lik Richmond’s case. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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