LEBANON — A Somerville man was found guilty by a Warren County jury of multiple felony charges, including felonious assault, for shooting at police officers in Turtlecreek Twp. in 2020.
He was found not guilty attempted aggravated murder.
Christopher J. Hubbard, 38, and Middletown police Sgt. Dennis Jordan were shot shortly before 5 p.m. after the chase that began in the area of 18th Avenue in Middletown and ended in the 2600 block of Mason-Montgomery Road in Turtlecreek Twp.
Hubbard was indicted Dec. 21, 2020 by a Warren County grand jury for attempted murder and felonious assault for allegedly shooting Jordan; attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault for allegedly shooting at Butler County Sheriff’s deputy Mike Barger; and attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault for allegedly shooting at Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Brett Lee. The charges contain gun specifications that add to Hubbard’s sentence.
Hubbard was also found guilty of two counts of having weapons under disability, failure to comply, improper handling of a firearms in a motor vehicle and a second-degree misdemeanor charge of assaulting a police dog.
Jordan’s dog, Koda, attempted to apprehend Hubbard while he sat in the car. The police dog was not hit by gunfire. Jordan, shot in the shoulder and finger, has recovered and returned to the police force.
Prosecutors said Hubbard led police on a 28-mile chase from Middletown to Mason-Montgomery Road on the afternoon of Aug. 31, 2020. In the days before, Hubbard made statements to family and his parole officer saying he wasn’t going back to jail and was going to get into a shootout with police.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Hubbard faces up to 11 years in prison on each of the felonious assault charges with an additional seven years for using a gun and firing at an officer. He faces more years for the other charges that could top out at more than 50 years in prison.
Hubbard could not have been sentenced for both the attempted murder and felonious assault if found guilty, so the sentencing parameters are the same, Fornshell said.
“His statement was, ‘I am going to get in a shootout with police.’ Not necessarily I am going to murder a police officer,” Fornshell said. “At the end of the day the jury found that he obviously understood that those were police officers and he did exactly what he said he was going to do, which was get into a shootout with them, to the extent that they made any attempt to take him back to prison.”
The verdict was announced Monday afternoon following about two hours of deliberation. It followed four days of testimony, 18 witnesses and viewing of two videos that captured the shootout. Jordan and Hubbard both testified.
Common Pleas Judge Tim Tepe has scheduled sentencing for Jan. 23.
An investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation indicated Hubbard shot first, striking Jordan, and that eight officers returned fire.
Defense attorneys said Hubbard acted in self-defense when the pursuit triggered his PTSD and he was attempting to shoot the police dog as it lunged into the window of his car because he was in fear for his life.