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Former Ohio police officer pleads not guilty to new charge in shooting of Andre Hill

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — A former Ohio police officer already facing murder charges stemming from the fatal shooting in December of Andre Hill, pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to an additional count of reckless homicide in the case.

Fired Columbus officer, Adam Coy, 44, who is free on $1 million bail, appeared in Franklin County Common Pleas Court wearing a gray suit, blue tie and a mask.

His attorney, Mark Collins, entered a not guilty plea on Coy’s behalf, and asked Judge Stephen L. McIntosh to make no changes in the bail arrangements.

In an unexpected move, prosecutor Anthony Pierson, informed McIntosh that two dereliction of duty charges filed against Coy are being dismissed. Pierson did not elaborate on why the charges are being tossed.

One of the dereliction of duty counts concerned Coy’s failure to turn his police body camera on until after he fired shots at Hill. But his camera automatically activated and recorded 60 seconds of the episode without sound.

Coy has already pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and felony assault.

McIntosh reminded Coy the conditions of his bail forbids him from possessing firearms and contacting any potential witnesses who might be called to testify in the case, including law enforcement officers associated with the case.

The only time Coy spoke during the hearing was when McIntosh asked him if he had any questions regarding his bail conditions.

“I do not, your honor,” Coy said.

McIntosh set Coy’s next court date for June 7.

Hill, a 47-year-old Black father and grandfather, was shot to death by Coy, who is white, on Dec. 22. Officers were responding to a 311 non-emergency call for a noise complaint. Body camera footage showed Hill being shot when he emerged from the garage of a friend’s home holding a cellphone.

Police body camera footage released in December showed officers handcuffing an apparently lifeless Hill after he was shot multiple times, without rendering first aid.

Coy told officials he thought he saw a firearm on Hill, prompting him to open fire. Hill had a cellphone in his left hand. No weapons were found.

Officer Amy Detweiler, who also responded to the 311 call, told investigators she heard Coy scream that Hill had a gun in his hand. She said she couldn’t recall if Coy ordered Hill to drop a weapon. Detweiler also said she did not see a gun in Hill’s hand and that she didn’t observe any threats from Hill.

Police body camera footage also showed a woman coming out of the house where Hill was shot and telling police, “He was bringing me Christmas money. He didn’t do anything.”

Coy’s hearing came amid the backdrop of protests in Columbus over the police-involved shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. Columbus police Officer Nicholas Reardon, who is white, shot the Black teenager after responding to a 911 call of a disturbance on April 21. Police body camera video released to the public showed Reardon getting out of his patrol car and approaching the fight between Bryant and another girl.

In a matter of seconds, Reardon shot Bryant, who appeared to have a knife in her hand, when she lunged toward another girl.

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