A Columbus woman has been indicted by a Fayette County grand jury for her alleged role in an Oct. 14 gunfire exchange that killed a man and injured a deputy.
Elissia Garrison, 21, is charged with two counts of complicity to felonious assault on an officer, first-degree felonies, and one count of obstructing official business, a felony of the fifth degree. Her case is presently pending before Fayette County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Beathard.
On Oct. 14, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies Todd Oesterle and Jason Havens were called to the Quality Inn in Jeffersonville in reference to a noise complaint. After dealing with the lengthy noise complaint, the deputies decided they were going to arrest Eric Stromer, 22, of Columbus.
While attempting to arrest Stromer, Garrison — believed to be his girlfriend — would not leave his side and actively interfered in the arrest, according to FCSO Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. At that point, deputies prepared to deploy a taser to Garrison, which allowed Stromer to remove a firearm from his clothing, which he discharged in the hallway of the hotel at point blank range, striking Sgt. Oesterle.
Stromer then attempted to flee, and Oesterle and Havens returned fire — fatally wounding Stromer.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and requested by Stanforth to conduct the investigation. The case was presented to the Fayette County grand jury March 15. In addition to the indictment of Garrison, the grand jury found that Oesterle and Havens “acted appropriately under the circumstances, followed use of force protocols in place by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, and cleared them of any violations of law at that time,” according to a joint press release from Sheriff Stanforth and Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade.
Garrison’s arraignment hearing is set for May 13.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica