Ex-Deputy Found Not Guilty Of Murder Charge In Ohio Shooting

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WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) – A former Ohio deputy sheriff accused of fatally shooting an unarmed man after a chase has been found not guilty of murder and reckless homicide charges.

A Pike County jury deliberated around five hours before finding former Pike County deputy Joel Jenkins not guilty Tuesday in Robert Rooker’s death.

Jenkins testified he was forced to fire in March 2015 because he thought Rooker was leaning down to grab a weapon.

Special prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said Jenkins unnecessarily fired nine times through the windows of Rooker’s stopped vehicle, hitting him seven times.

An attorney general’s spokeswoman says prosecutors were disappointed, but respected the jury’s decision.

Jenkins also has pleaded not guilty to charges including involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a neighbor in December 2015.