Man faces felonious assault charge after Warren County teen shot in back

At least two candidates for Kettering Municipal Court clerk will be on the ballot this fall for the first time in 18 years. FILE
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At least two candidates for Kettering Municipal Court clerk will be on the ballot this fall for the first time in 18 years. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Family of boy shot said man should be charged with attempted murder.

A Warren County teenager has a long road to recovery after being shot in September while riding his dirt bike in Franklin Twp., and his family is frustrated with the charges the accused is facing.

Jeremy Ott, 23, was arrested shortly after the incident on Sept. 15 in the 3200 block of McLean Road and was indicted by a Warren County grand jury last month for felonious assault with a gun specification.

The 16-year-old boy was hit in the back by a bullet from a rifle fired by Ott, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the indictment.

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Dawn Brooks, mother of the teen, said Ott has exhibited strange behavior for years, and has been confrontational with her children. And she does not believe the story she says Ott told detectives that he was shooting at a groundhog.

“By the grace of God, my son is alive. It (bullet) perforated three organs and did a lot of nerve damage,” Brooks said.

She said her husband happened to be home at 3 p.m. that afternoon and heard a shot, then found his wounded son.

Over the years, Brooks said her children have been told not to respond to Ott if they see him outside and to come inside. But on the day of the shooting, apparently no one saw Ott.

Brooks said she believes the charge against Ott should be attempted murder, because she believes he was hiding “in the weeds” and jumped up and shot her son.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Ott has significant developmental issues that are a factor in the case.

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“He has got significant developmental disabilities that are going to come to play in this. There is no doubt in my mind that the defense will try to raise the competency issue because there are significant developmental disabilities,” Fornshell said.

He said the shot was fired from a distance away. Ott was on his property allegedly shooting at “varmints” and the teen was riding his dirt bike on his property. There is no fencing between the properties.

“The evidence that we have is that he (Ott) fired a rifle. The victim was several hundred feet away and the round struck the victim in the back as he was riding his dirt bike and caused him significant injuries. That is the case,” Fornshell said. “There is literally zero evidence of that the purpose was to kill. That’s what is needed for attempted murder.”

He said there just wasn’t enough to to take that leap to attempted murder, “not anywhere close to enough evidence.”

Fornshell said in the past there were some odd behaviors exhibited by Ott.

“He suffers from substantial physical and mental disabilities and he exhibited odd behavior at times, but he did also aim a firearm in the direction of where this kid was riding his motorcycle. And it is going to be up to a jury, to decide whether he had the ability to formulate the requisite mental state that being knowingly did it, not withstanding the physical and mental disabilities.”

Fornshell said he is “100 percent comfortable” with the charges based on the evidence. But he understands the frustration of the victim’s family.

“It is a tragic case regardless of the charge or the outcome. I feel horrible for the victim’s family and I feel horrible for the defendant’s family too. It is just a horrible, bad situation,” Fornshell said.

Ott was arraigned last week by a magistrate in Warren County Common Pleas Court and was placed in house arrest with an ankle monitor. He is scheduled to be in Judge Robert Peeler’s courtroom on Dec. 8 for a pretrial hearing.

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