Appellate court reverses officer's felonious assault conviction - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Court reverses officer's felonious assault conviction

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A former Ottawa Hills officer has been cleared of felonious assault charges stemming from a 2009 shooting. Thomas White was convicted of unjustly shooting motorcyclist Mike McCloskey during a traffic stop, paralyzing him from the waist down.

The appeals court reversed the conviction and calls for a retrial. The 108-page decision says the jury in the case wasn't given proper instructions on deadly force standards.

Cruiser dash cam video captured the shooting.

White was found guilty of felonious assault in 2010 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced to ten years in prison.

On Friday, the Sixth District Court of Appeals overturned the conviction. It states, "The main reason to reverse the conviction is the jury was not given proper instructions on the issue of deadly force standards."

The decision continues, "In a police deadly-force case, it is reversible error to give the jury a non-deadly force instruction…Instead of one concise and accurate instruction, the upshot of both was a hodgepodge of confusing language that misstated the applicable standard...That is not just an academic error...Hence, we cannot let it pass uncorrected."

The appeals court also dismissed the gun specification for the retrial, meaning White cannot face that added charge, which his defense attorney says carried a mandatory three-year prison sentence.

White has been out on bond during the appeal.

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