No indictment for Butler County deputy who shot suspect in Liberty Twp. incident

A Butler County grand jury has declined to indict a deputy who shot a Liberty Twp. man in an incident earlier this month month.

James Lawrence Huff was shot in the shoulder on May 4 following on incident after allegedly breaking into an apartment complex clubhouse.

Following an investigation, the results were presented to grand jury for consideration, including witness accounts, and the grand jury returned no indictment, according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

Huff, 46, was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday for felonious assault ln a police officer with a gun specification, a first-degree felony, and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony.

Huff was booked into the county jail on Friday after a hospital stay. Huff was booked into the county jail May 10 after a hospital stay. He was arraigned Wednesday by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Howard, who set bond at $75,000.

Family members called dispatchers about 11:10 a.m. concerned about the welfare of Huff, who was hallucinating while going through alcohol withdrawal, according to 911 calls placed by his son and sister.

Huff’s son told dispatchers his father had made some threats and left the residence. Huff’s sister said he had a loaded handgun and had been waving it around that morning.

Deputies were sent to the 400 block of Hampton Place Drive to conduct a welfare check. They found blood.

At 11:20 a.m. a maintenance employee at Springs of Liberty Township Apartments reported a burglary at the clubhouse.

“Someone just broke into the clubhouse. They shattered the window,” the 911 caller said. “There is blood everywhere. It looks like he is carrying knives around.”

He said the break-in happened about 10:50 a.m. at the Liberty West Drive location. The employee was able to provide a description of the suspect while watching the security video.

About 11:42 a.m. a witness reported seeing a male lying in the wood line across from the apartments, covered with blood and believed to be armed with a knife.

Three deputies responding spotted Huff, who had a pistol, according to the sheriff’s report.

According to the preliminary investigation by the sheriff’s office, Huff was urged multiple times to put down the weapon, but began to raise the weapon toward the officers. Deputy Arlen Johnson fired multiple shots, hitting Huff once, according to Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer.

Huff also allegedly fire a round during the incident. No one else was injured.

Per standard procedure, Johnson was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Dwyer said Wednesday has returned to active duty following the investigation.

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