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Man who shot Warren County deputy, father sentenced to 36 years

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 18:17:42-04

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Mohammed Laghaoui, a Deerfield Township man who shot his own father and a Warren County deputy just over a year ago, was sentenced Wednesday to 36 years in prison.

"Today's stiff sentence serves notice to those who might ambush a police officer that we will seek the maximum charges and the maximum sentence in an effort to protect those men and women who dedicate their lives to making Warren County safe," Warren County prosecutor David P. Fornshell wrote in a news release.

Fornshell said the shooting began June 9, 2016, with an argument between Laghaoui and his father about eating hummus during Ramadan, a month when Muslims are religiously required to fast from dawn to dusk each day. Laghaoui stormed out of their apartment, then returned with an AK-47 style weapon and shot his father through the door.

Deputy Katie Barnes, who had been called to respond to the scene, was shot in the abdomen. She had recovered and returned to duty by the time Laghaoui's trial began, but was still able to give emotional testimony about the night she was shot.

"What was running through your mind at that point?" the prosecutor asked her on the witness stand.

"'Am I going to die?'" Barnes replied.

 

Laghaoui fled and a seven-hour manhunt ensued. Residents of the area were ordered to shelter in place until 5 the next morning.

Prosecution and defense argued back and forth about Laghaoui's mental state before and during his trial. The defense argued that he was not fit to stand trial and then that he could not be found guilty by reason of insanity, but the prosecution -- and ultimately the jury -- believed he had acted logically and was cognizant enough to take responsibility for his actions.

Laghaoui was convicted in April on nine of 10 counts, including attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault.