Jury returns verdict in Warren Co. deputy shooting trial

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Lawyers made final arguments Tuesday in the Deputy shooting trial in Warren County.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 11 a.m.

Mohammed Laghaoui has been found guilty of attempted aggravated murder of Warren County Deputy Katie Barnes.

RELATED: Laghaoui convicted on 9 counts in deputy shooting in Warren County

EARLIER

No verdict was reached Tuesday in the trial of Mohammed Laghaoui, the man charged with a shooting incident last year in Warren County that ended with two wounded and prompted an extended manhunt and lock down of the area.

The jury deliberated for more than two hours in hopes of concluding a seven-day trial that included testimony from more than 20 witnesses and introduction of more than 200 pieces of evidence.

Deliberations began after the jury heard two different versions of what happened on June 9 outside the apartment building at 8525 Jonathan Lane in the Landen area of Deerfield Twp., Warren County.

RELATED : Deputy worried she would die after being shot

There was no dispute that Deputy Katie Barnes and Laghaoui’s father, Abdessadek, were wounded, or that Laghaoui, now 20, shot into neighboring apartments and at a neighbor before disappearing for nearly seven hours.

RELATED: Who is Warren County sheriff’s deputy Katie Barnes?

Police from around the region flocked to the area, locking it down, while they hunted for an active shooter, using K-9s and helicopters.

Laghaoui surrendered about 4:30 a.m. the next day, minus an AK-47 he purchased months before, but has never been recovered.

RELATED: Line of deputies arrested Laghaoui, ending manhunt

Prosecutors accused Laghaoui of ambushing Barnes as she returned for the second time that night, in response to a domestic dispute apparently initially sparked by an argument with his father and brother over his refusal to clean up after making and eating hummus, while his brother and father fasted during Ramadan, a Muslim holy period.

RELATED: Defense asks jury for views of Muslims

“The goal is to kill Deputy Barnes,” Assistant County Prosecutor Travis Vieux said during closing arguments.

On Tuesday, prosecutors said Laghaoui was also intent on killing both family members when he fired through the door lock, severing his father’s right index finger, before realizing he was out of ammunition and returning to his car to reload, then fled the scene.

“I thought it was my last day,” brother Lau Laghaoui testified on Wednesday.

RELATED: Brother thought he would be killed

Laghaoui’s lawyer countered that mental illness, fed by the stress of the incident and possibly his use of synthetic drugs, prompted hallucinations leaving Laghaoui believing he was under attack.

“This is no different than the snake in the throat,” referring to testimony that Laghaoui traveled to Morroco, where he was born, as well as a handful of area medical facilities for help with this problem.

In addition to Barnes – who in the dark said he failed to realize was the deputy with whom he had talked amicably in the first call – Laghaoui thought he had just been held up at gunpoint before Barnes reappeared, without activating the lights or sirens on her patrol cruiser, lawyer Nadeem Quraishi said.

“He had no intention of hurting them or anyone,” Quraishi said.

Three psychologists testified about Laghaoui’s mental condition at the time of the incident. Psychologist Jennifer O’Donnell found Laghaoui was not mentally ill, reversing an opinion from a hearing last year, after reviewing more information and interviewing Laghaoui again for the prosecution.

RELATED: Laghaoui found competent to stand trial

Douglass Reed, a psychologist, supported Laghaoui’s insanity defense during testimony Monday.

RELATED: Defense psychologist supports insanity of deputy shooter

Barnes and Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims were back in the courtroom Tuesday. County prosecutor David Fornshell and a dozen deputies also sat in the courtroom for the closing arguments.

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If convicted on all charges, Laghaoui faces up to 68 years in prison.