Jun. 23—The trial for a man charged with multiple felonies for allegedly trying to kill police officers in a shootout in the summer of 2020 on the lawn of a Warren County home has been continued again.
Officer Dennis Jordan of the Middletown Division of Police and suspect Christopher J. Hubbard were shot shortly before 5 p.m. Aug. 31, 2020, after a pursuit that began in the area of 18th Avenue in Middletown and ended in the 2600 block of Mason-Montgomery Road in Turtlecreek Twp.
Hubbard, 36, was indicted Dec. 21, 2020 by a Warren County grand jury for attempted murder and felonious assault for allegedly shooting Jordan; attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault for allegedly shooting at Butler County Sheriff's deputy Mike Barger; and attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault for allegedly shooting at Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Brett Lee. The charges also contain gun specifications that add to a sentence if Hubbard is found guilty.
Hubbard was found competent to stand trial in March 2021 following a psychological evaluation. His trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 25, 2021 was moved to April 4, 2022. That trial date then was continued to June 27 because of expert testimony issues.
Today in what was to be a pre-trial to record testimony of an expert who could not be at the trial, Judge Tim Tepe reluctantly continued the trial until Sept. 26.
Tepe said there were "snags" when a defense witness who was ordered by the court to provide a report did not do so until yesterday. That does not leave time for the prosecution to review and rebut the report.
The judge said it took a subpoena, a phone call and a separate order from the court to get the witness to appear with the report.
"Almost a hostile situation," Tepe said.
An investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Investigation indicated Hubbard shot first, striking Jordan, and that eight officers returned fire. Hubbard was hit between 10 and 13 times. Video evidence made the sequence of events clear, according to prosecutors.
Hubbard, who was sent back to prison shortly after the incident, is now being held on $1 million bond in the Warren County Jail. He requested a bond reduction, but it was denied by the judge.
Jordan was shot in the arm, finger and right leg. He was released from the hospital a day later and returned to duty.
Hubbard said at a hearing last summer charges against him are hard to prove.
"I have combed through my discovery packet with a fine tooth comb," Hubbard said, adding he doesn't know where the prosecution will get the evidence at trial to prove the charges against him. "One officer was shot. But I can show you by paper work on this table that other law enforcement did that and I didn't."
Assistant Prosecutor Steve Knippen responded saying the incident started because Hubbard fled from a police.
"The only reason that his vehicle was stopped, it is the state's understanding, is because it ran over Stop Sticks which damaged his tires," Knippen said. "He pulled over into the front yard of the residence. I can tell you in terms of evidence, there are two videos .... they definitively show the defendant shooting first at officers where he fires multiple shots and an officer was struck multiple times. So there is evidence that supports the charges."