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5 Moraine police officers seek trial in wrongful death suit in killing of Dayton man

Five Moraine police officers named in a wrongful death civil lawsuit for the October fatal shooting of a Dayton man are seeking a jury trial.

John Howard, Jerry Knight, Michael Cornely, Justin Eller and Brian O’Neal “deny all allegations” in the March suit filed in federal court by the estate of Jamarco McShann, court records show.

The five – along with “unnamed officers” – were listed as defendants in connection with the early-morning Oct. 20 shooting death of McShann outside Valleyview Village Apartments on Pinnacle Road.

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The officers “willfully and maliciously” killed McShann, 23, “and/or failed to intervene to prevent the use of deadly force against him despite the duty and the opportunity to do so,” the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges.

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Authorities said McShann died from “multiple shotgun and gunshot wounds” after a confrontation with Howard and Knight.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation oversaw a probe into the shooting at the request of the Moraine Police Division. A week after the lawsuit was filed, a Montgomery County grand jury decided against indictments in the case.

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The grand jury found the officers “acted lawfully under the circumstances,” according to the county prosecutor’s office.

That decision came after two days of testimony involving 15 witnesses, prosecutors said. The law firm filing the wrongful death suit in was given the opportunity to provide the names of witnesses, but failed to do so, prosecutors said.

A pretrial conference hearing is scheduled Aug. 23, court records show. Judge Thomas Rose is hearing the case.

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