Lionel Combs III (left) and Cahke Cortner

Dayton officer’s death: Judge denies one suspect, ponders second request

Two suspects in the shooting death of a Dayton police detective have requested to be released from jail pending their trial, but a federal judge has denied one of those requests and is still contemplating the other.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose has heard arguments from attorneys for Cahke Cortner and Lionel Combs III asking the court to allow the two to await trial from out of jail. Rose has denied Cortner’s request. Combs went before the judge last week, and a decision for him has not been rendered.

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Rose said in his denial of Cortner that he couldn’t be assured the public would be safe with the man out of jail.

“In light of said presumption and considering the total nature and circumstances of the offenses charged, their seriousness, as well as what appears to be the weight of the evidence against defendant, the court finds there are no condition or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure the appearance of defendant as required and the safety of the community,” Rose said in his order.

Cortner’s defense team said Cortner isn’t the suspect accused of pulling the trigger and killing Del Rio — that’s Nathan Goddard — and that Cortner was “at the wrong place at the wrong time.” The state said Cortner is facing serious charges that could end up with a death penalty sentence and can’t be trusted to attend court hearings on his own.

The day after Rose entered his decision on Cortner, Combs’ attorney argued their points. They, too, said that Goddard is responsible for Del Rio’s death and that Combs should be allowed to await trial from out of jail. Prosecutors pointed out that the shooting took place in Combs’ home and said they believe he was involved in drug trafficking.

“What is most troubling, there is probable cause that Mr. Combs opened up his house to drug trafficking and allowed them to store narcotics there,” prosecutor Brent Tabacchi said.

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The defense said that Combs has a “peaceful nature” and can be trusted if let out of jail.

Rose has not ruled on that motion.

Meanwhile, a scheduling conference is set for today. It’s possible that, after a hearing, a timeline for the cases against Goddard, Cortner and Combs will be made public.

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