Suspect In Westerville Police Killings Held Without Bail

Feb 20, 2018

The suspect in the fatal shooting of two Westerville Police officers is being held without bail as the potential death penalty case proceeds.

Thirty-year-old Quentin Smith is charged with aggravated murder in the February 10 shootings of officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli. They were responding to a 9-1-1 domestic violence call at Smith's home in Westerville.

Smith was previously convicted of burglary, and was prevented by law from having a weapon. Gerald Lawson, who is accused of buying the handgun for Smith, was arrested in Cleveland.

Prosecutors requested that the court deny bail for Smith, characterizing him as a danger to the community.

A public defender represented Smith during his initial appearance Tuesday in Franklin County Municipal Court and didn't object to him being jailed without bail. 

Investigators say Smith was wounded when he exchanged gunfire with police. Smith was recently transferred from hospital to the Franklin County Jail. In court, he had one hand bandaged and the other arm hidden beneath his jail uniform. 

A funeral for Joering and Morelli on Friday drew officers from around the country. Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer called the officers "true American heroes."

Meanwhile, people continued to pay respects at Westerville's temporary memorial for the officers. It's expected to be dismantled this week.