Accused Warren County deputy shooter faces trial Monday

Mohammed Laghaoui agreed to waive his right to attend the jury viewing of the scene of the active-shooter incident last year in Warren County. STAFF/LAWRENCE BUDD
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Mohammed Laghaoui agreed to waive his right to attend the jury viewing of the scene of the active-shooter incident last year in Warren County. STAFF/LAWRENCE BUDD

Man also accused of shooting father in incident that locked down a neighborhood.

Deputy Katie Barnes’ bloodied undershirt will not be among the evidence presented during the trial to begin Monday of the man charged in a shooting case in Warren County.

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But Judge Timothy Tepe otherwise ruled prosecutors will be able to use a wide range of photos, some bloody, and an AK-47 “exactly similar” to one Mohammed Laghaoui is suspected of firing during the incident that prompted the lockdown of the Landen community in Deerfield Twp., Warren County, while deputies hunted for the shooter.

“The nature of this case — there’s going to be blood,” Tepe said during a hearing Wednesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court called to review defense objections to photographs, among more than 200 taken at the scene, that were expected to be used during the trial.

RELATED: Passport, AK-47 ammo found at scene

Barnes, a former local sports star, and Laghaoui’s father, Abdessadek Laghaoui, were wounded during a shooting reportedly sparked by a domestic dispute at the Laghaoui apartment in the Landen area.

Both are expected to testify for the prosecution, although the elder Laghaoui has since hired a lawyer to represent his son, and he and Laghaoui’s brother, Lhoucine, are both identified as adversarial witnesses in motions filed by prosecutors.

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Noting this and a language barrier, prosecutors sought a ruling from Tepe requiring them to cooperate during questioning.

“Both witnesses have expressed frustration with the typical direct examination questioning format and staying focused on questioning,” Assistant County Prosecutor Travis Vieux said in a motion.

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A rifle was never recovered from a lake where Laghaoui told investigators he threw it.

Prosecutors obtained the exact make and model as one Laghaoui previously purchased, court officials said Wednesday during the final pre-trial hearing in the case. The gun was unavailable at the hearing.

Photos taken at the scene will show where other rounds allegedly fired by Laghaoui nicked a dresser and hit a chair in the room of an 8-year-old neighbor.

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Tepe also ruled prosecutors cannot show the jury a drawing of two rifles found on a piece of toilet paper in Laghaoui’s cell.

The jury is to visit the scene on Monday, the first of what is scheduled as a five-day trial.

Laghaoui was born in Morocco but attended school in Butler County before moving with his father and brother into the Orchards of Landen.

A passport and manual for an AK-47 were among the evidence seized from Laghaoui’s room.

At an early hearing, a prosecutor indicated Laghaoui was planning to leave the country at the time of the dispute with his father and brother that brought Barnes to the apartment twice on June 9.

Laghaoui, now 20, agreed to give up his right to attend the jury viewing after an exchange with Tepe ending the hearing. He remains in the county jail on $2 million bond.