Aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Federal prosecutors said a man named Gerald Lawson of suburban Cleveland has been accused of buying the handgun for Smith last summer.
Morelli, a 29-year veteran, died in surgery at Ohio State University Medical Center, Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer announced during a press briefing Saturday. Smith was convicted of burglary in 2008, barring him for possessing a firearm. With convictions for both burglary and domestic violence, Mr. Smith was legally barred from having a gun, but his wife said he got a friend to purchase one for him. He said Monday that the agency pursued the information following Saturday's fatal shooting of the Westerville police department officers.
The U.S. Justice Department said Monday it has charged an OH man with acting as a "straw purchaser" for a man accused of shooting and killed two police officers on Saturday. For that offense, he was punished with 15 days in a cell segregated from the general population.
The murders of Mr. Joering and Mr. Morelli punctuate another awful fact; the scourge of domestic violence poses a threat not just to the victims who are being directly attacked but also to society at large. He was sentenced to three years in prison, and was released in 2011.More news: Woman files police report, accusing Kareem Hunt of shoving her
A confrontation ensued and Smith lifted up his shirt to show he had a pistol tucked into his waistband, the boyfriend told police. Sometimes, those officers don't make it home at the end of a shift.
A charitable fund created for the families of two slain OH police officers has raised more than $270,000 in a day. "Be it a traffic stop, or some kind of incident at a residence or a business, there are always those dangers that are hidden or aren't on the surface".
Smith's wife had previously sought protection orders because he'd threatened to kill her, their daughter and himself, police said. He called the men "true American heroes".