Police: Suspect in 5-year-old Hamilton homicide can’t be charged because he’s dead

Credit: Contributed WCPO

Credit: Contributed WCPO

Five years after the shooting death of Christopher “C.J.” Sandle Jr. just three days after his 20th birthday, Hamilton police say they have enough evidence to charge a suspect — if he were still alive.

Sandle was shot in his bedroom on Millville Avenue on the morning of Jan. 13, 2016. His mother, Rebecca Sandle, and his 9-year-old sister were at home at the time of the slaying.

His homicide has remained classified as “unsolved,” despite a reward of $10,000 offered for information leading to the conviction of suspects in the homicide.

Today, Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said the department would pursue charges against the alleged shooter if he were not dead. Detectives have gathered much evidence in the case, and it remains open if that evidence points to others being involved, he said.

“Over the past five years our investigators have worked diligently in amassing considerable evidence that points overwhelmingly to a perpetrator in this case,” Bucheit said. “Unfortunately, that perpetrator is deceased. While we are disappointed that CJ’s family will be denied the opportunity to see justice delivered in a court of law we are hopeful this knowledge offers them some measure of closure.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Hamilton at 868-5811 Ext. 1274. Bucheit declined to name the suspect or say how he died.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said it is a case he would want to take to a grand jury “if I had a living suspect.”

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