Trial in shootout with police delayed after insanity plea


LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — The trial of an Ohio man charged in a shootout two years ago that wounded a police officer and also wounded him has been postponed until next year after the defendant opted for an insanity defense.

Christopher Hubbard, 37, faces attempted murder and assault charges in Warren County. Authorities said an August 2020 pursuit from Middletown ended in Turtlecreek Township, where the driver wounded a Middletown officer and law enforcement officers then opened fire, hitting the suspect multiple times.

Hubbard was found competent to stand trial last year and his trial was scheduled to begin this month. But the Journal-News reports that last month, he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. A judge then ordered an additional forensic psychological evaluation and continued the trial until Jan. 3.

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. The Middletown officer was shot in the arm, finger and right leg. He was discharged from the hospital a day later and returned to duty.

Hubbard faces attempted murder or attempted aggravated murder charges and felonious assault counts in alleged shots at the Middletown officer, a Butler County sheriff’s deputy and an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. He is being held in the county jail on $1 million bond, an amount he unsuccessfully sought to have reduced in June.

The Warren County trial for a man charged with multiple felonies for allegedly trying to kill police officers in an August 2020 shootout has been continued until 2023 after the defendant entered an insanity plea.

Officer Dennis Jordan of the Middletown Division of Police and 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, 37, 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 last year and his trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 25, 2021 in Warren County Common Pleas Judge Tim Tepe’s courtroom, but was continued to April 4, 2022 at the request of the defense.

On March 2, defense attorney Daniel Getty filed another motion to continue the trial, stating their expert needs more time to prepare. Getty said the preparation was delayed by illness, weather and technology issues.

The trial was rescheduled for June 2022 and again rescheduled for Oct. 24, 2022.

In September, Hubbard pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and Tepe ordered an additional forensic psychological evaluation. The trial was then continued for a fifth time to Jan. 3, 2023.

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 in prison shortly after the incident, is now being held on $1 million bond in the Warren County Jail. In June he requested a bond reduction, but it was denied.

Jordan was shot in the arm, finger and right leg. He was released from the hospital a day later and returned to duty.