COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state attorney prosecuting the December police killing of Andre Hill opposed the former officer’s request for the trial to be moved.
Assistant Attorney General Anthony Pierson filed a motion Wednesday opposing ex-Columbus officer Adam Coy’s request for the trial be moved to another county in order to convene a fair and impartial jury.
Defense attorney Mark Collins argued last week that extensive publicity — including news coverage, posts on social media and billboards around Columbus — about the killing of Hill, a Black man, will make it impossible to convene a fair jury in Franklin County.
But Pierson, who was appointed special prosecutor by Attorney General Dave Yost, said the change of location “would unnecessarily consume resources and time.”
He added that while the state opposes the trial being moved, it will not object to modifying the jury selection process to ensure impartiality.
Hill, 47, was fatally shot by Coy, who is white, on Dec. 22 as Hill emerged from a garage holding up a cellphone.
In the moments after he was shot, additional bodycam footage shows two other Columbus officers rolled Hill over and put handcuffs on him before leaving him alone again. None of them, according to the footage released, offered any first aid even though Hill was barely moving, groaning and bleeding while laying on the garage floor.
Coy was fired less than a week later for failing to activate his body camera and for not providing medical aid to Hill. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and reckless homicide charges. His trial is currently scheduled for July 21.
His indictment by a Franklin County grand jury came just days after Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan was forced out after Mayor Andrew Ginther said he lost confidence in his ability to make the necessary department changes.
In May, the city reached a $10 million settlement with the family of Hill, the largest in Columbus history.
In addition to the state’s criminal case, Columbus police, the U.S. attorney general for central Ohio and the FBI are conducting their own investigation into the shooting.
Associated Press writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins contributed to this report. Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
Farnoush Amiri, The Associated Press