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New charge added for ex-officer in Columbus police shooting

April 23, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A grand jury in Ohio’s capital city on Friday added a criminal charge of reckless homicide against the white former Columbus police officer who fatally shot a Black man holding a cellphone.

Adam Coy was indicted in February on murder, felonious assault and dereliction of duty charges in the death of 47-year-old Andre Hill. Columbus officials cited incompetence and “gross neglect of duty” when Coy was was fired less than a week after the Dec. 22 shooting.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Anthony Pierson said in a statement: “This is an additional charge based on our ongoing investigation, not a superseding charge. Our case is strong and we look forward to trying it in court.”

Coy’s attorney, Mark Collins, said his client will plead not guilty at an arraignment on Wednesday.

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“This new charge leads us to believe prosecutors don’t have a lot of faith in the felony murder charge,” Collins said.

Coy had responded the night of the shooting to a non-emergency call about a vehicle parked on the street. Another officer who arrived at the scene told internal affairs detectives that Coy yelled, “There’s a gun in his hand” before firing at Hill, who was standing inside a garage.

No gun was found.