Prosecutors want jury to visit active-shooter scene in Warren County

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Prosecutors want jury to visit active-shooter scene in Warren County

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Mohammed Laghaoui in court.

Jurors are expected to return to the scene of a shootout last June in Warren County that wounded two people, including a sheriff’s deputy, and triggering a prolonged manhunt and lockdown of a busy area of the county.

When the shooting stopped, Deputy Katie Barnes was shot in the abdomen and Abdesssadek Laghaoui in the hand. Laghaoui is the father of Mohammed Laghaoui, 20, the accused shooter.

Bullets were found in a neighbor’s apartments and blood was spattered on the steps and entry to the second-floor apartment at the Orchard Park of Landen complex.

“A jury view is necessary to a proper understanding and consideration of the evidence to be presented,” Assistant Warren County Prosecutor John Arnold said in a motion seeking permission to tour the jury around the complex and a nearby Kroger’s parking lot.

Prosecutors will also be trying to prove that Mohammed Laghaoui was sane at the time of the active shooter incident on June 9.

Filings by Laghaoui’s lawyer indicate he intends to prove Laghaoui should be found not guilty by reason of insanity through interviews of doctors and introduction of medical and school records dating back to Laghaoui’s time at Lakota East High School in Butler County.

Laghaoui faces 10 felony counts and remains in the Warren County Jail on $2 million bond.

He is accused of continuing to pull the trigger of a semi-automatic rifle even after running out of ammunition, according to his father. The rifle has has never been found.

One witness said Mohammed Laghaoui shot at him as he walked around the complex, warning people about the danger, before disappearing into the night.

Laghaoui also is charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting of the deputy, a local sports star and coach, who was responding for the second time that night to a report of a domestic dispute involving Laghaoui.

Laghaoui, born in Morocco, was apparently planning to leave Ohio at the time of the incident. His planned departure was part of the argument and domestic dispute. Even after he was wounded, Laghaoui’s father tried to keep him from leaving the scene.

The younger Laghaoui was arrested, without incident, upon returning to the area.

A passport, a manual for an AK-47 rifle and assorted electronic devices were seized by authorities.

Although Laghaoui was found competent to stand trial, his lawyer, Nadeem Quraishi, is still moving forward with a not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity defense.

On Wednesday, lawyers met in chambers with Judge Timothy Tepe and a hearing is scheduled for Friday in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

The trial, expected to last five days, is set to begin on March 27.

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