BLANCHESTER, Ohio -- Police say the man they first thought shot his girlfriend during "amorous role playing" in May has been indicted on attempted murder and other charges.
In a statement Thursday, Blanchester police Chief Scott Reinbolt said Jamie McLaughlin, 31, is facing additional charges of felonious assault, abduction, assault, having a weapon under disability, aggravated menacing and receiving stolen property under indictment by a Clinton County grand jury.
Reinbolt defended his department’s actions, including allowing McLaughlin to remain free following the May 2 shooting. Reinbolt said the victim told investigators the shooting was accidental and it was only through an intensive investigation that police were able to prove otherwise to a grand jury.
"Within 24 hours of this incident, the police department was under extreme pressure from various quarters to make an immediate arrest," Reinbolt said in a release emailed to the media. "In a May 3 interview ... I stated I would take the criticism without further comment in order to preserve the integrity of the investigative process. That process starts with a thorough investigation and ends with grand jury action. The investigative process is now complete.
"During the 12-day investigation we gathered evidence suggesting the shooting was not accidental and that [the victim] sustained other injuries during the incident that were inflicted with criminal intent," the chief said.
"The evidence we gathered was presented to the grand jury. It is apparent the grand jury found that evidence sufficient to convince them the shooting was intentional and that injuries inflicted ... were done with criminal intent."
Reinbolt didn't answer why McLaughlin, a convicted felon, wasn't arrested in the first place for having a weapon under disability. By law, McLaughlin is not allowed to have guns because of a prior felony conviction for drug trafficking.
Blanchester police twice arrested McLaughlin four days after the shooting but not on charges for the shooting itself.
Police arrested McLaughlin on May 6 after two Morrow residents said they had spent the night with him and he threatened them with a machete when they tried to leave. An officer charged McLaughlin with aggravated menacing and he was released on bond soon after.
Reinbolt told officers to arrest McLaughlin again on a charge of having a weapon under disability, since he apparently had a gun during the shooting.
Reinbolt said the indictment spans three crimes - the shooting May 2, the machete incident May 6 and stolen property recovered during execution of a search warrant at McLaughlin's home on May 7.