Man pleads guilty to attempted murder of Warren County deputy

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Video shows man shooting at Warren County deputy

A Deerfield Twp. man pleaded guilty to charges related to the attempted murder of Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Sara Vaught.

The encounter was captured on a doorbell camera.

Lance Runion, 57, entered the guilty pleas in Warren County Common Pleas Court on Thursday on the first-degree felony charges of attempted aggravated murder with accompanying seven and three-year firearm specifications; attempted murder with accompanying seven-year and three-year firearm specifications; and felonious assault with accompanying seven-year and five-year firearm specifications.

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Common Pleas Judge Timothy N. Tepe accepted Runion’s guilty pleas and entered findings of guilty to the charges. Runion had entered not guilty pleas to the charges in April.

Runion is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Sept 13, the day his trial had been scheduled to start.

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Lance C. Runion

Lance C. Runion

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Lance C. Runion

Prosecutors said Runion will be required first to serve a mandatory seven-year prison sentence on the highest firearm specification. After serving that seven-year prison sentence, Runion also must serve a prison sentence on the underlying offenses, and faces a maximum of 11 to 16 ½ year sentence for those (merged) offenses. All told, Runion faces a maximum of 18 to 23 ½ years in prison.

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Warren County Sheriff's Deputy Sara Vaught

Warren County Sheriff's Deputy Sara Vaught

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Warren County Sheriff's Deputy Sara Vaught

On Feb. 15, Warren County Communications received a 911 call from Runion’s brother and dispatched Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputies to Runion’s residence at 7831 Hunt Club Drive in Deerfield Twp.

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Deputies knocked on Runion’s front door multiple times, attempting to check on his safety. Ultimately, when Deputy Vaught arrived on Runion’s front porch, Runion opened his front door and immediately fired a Ruger LCP 9mm handgun directly at Vaught. Vaught was not struck and returned fire, striking and disabling Runion.

Emergency medical personnel arrived on scene approximately 60 seconds after Runion was struck, and administered medical treatment to him.

ExploreDoorbell camera shows suspect shoot at Warren County deputy, her return fire

“That Ring doorbell video demonstrates just how quickly, and without any warning, that a situation can become deadly for the women and men who wear the uniform. It also demonstrates how highly trained and skilled Deputy Vaught and our other Warren County law enforcement officers are in responding to these types of life-threatening situations,” said Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell. “While I’m grateful that she was miraculously unharmed, her bravery and training absolutely contributed to her being able to go home from work that night.”

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