Ashland County Prosecutor Clears Officers In March Shooting

  • 5/22/2019 4:42:21 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

ASHLAND, OH - Following the officer-involved shooting that left one injured in March of this year, Ashland County Prosecutor Christopher Tunnell has completed his investigation and cleared Officer Lee Eggemen of wrongdoing.

A press conference was held Wednesday afternoon to go over the details of the case and subsequent investigation, which was conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The incident occurred on March 18th at a home on Sandusky Street in Ashland. According to Tunnell, Officer Eggemen and Officer Leah Ziesler first arrived on the scene in response to a call regarding an attempted suicide. The two officers encountered the suspect, Cory Dye, who was allegedly assaulting his mother on the porch of the home. Officers attempted to approach, but Dye allegedly screamed obscenities at them and came towards them with a straight razor. 

Dye continued to approach, despite being told multiple times to drop the weapon and stop moving. Officer Eggemen, knowing that the suspect had just assaulted someone and had a weapon, feared for his and Officer Zeisler's safety and fired one shot into Dye's chest. Officer Zeisler immediately administered first aid, which Tunnell and Ashland Police Chief David Marcelli both say likely saved the man's life.

Both Officer Eggemen and Officer Zeisler were placed on paid administrative leave after the incident, although Officer Zeisler was permitted to return to duty following the conclusion of BCI's investigation two weeks ago.

"My review of this incident has been confined to the actions of Mr. Dye and Officer Lee Eggemen," said Tunnell. "I have reviewed the work product of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, operated by the Attorney General's Office, the State of Ohio, and the Ashland Police Department, as well as consulted with the Ashland County Grand Jury. As to Officer Eggemen, I find that his actions in using force against Mr. Dye were reasonable. Officer Eggemen has not committed any chargable violations of Ohio law, and is not subject to any further scrutiny regarding this incident by my office."

In addition to the Prosecutor's investigation, Ashland Police Chief David Marcelli says he reviewed BCI's investigation in full.

"Our next step in our administrative process would be to conduct an internal inquiry, which probably will not amount to any more than an analysis of the report as we recieved it," Marcelli said. "I know that we are going to find that Officer Eggemen acted within our department policy and Ohio law in the use of force. I think the officers should be commended for their restraint in this case... I think Officer Zeisler should also be commended, she undoubtedly saved that man's life that night."

Officer Eggemen is expected to return to full duty on Wednesday, May 22nd.

The Ashland County Grand Jury indicted Dye on three counts Wednesday morning: One count of felonious assault, a felony of the 2nd degree, punishable by two to eight years in prison, domestic violence, a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in county jail, and a count of Felonious Assault for attempting to cause physical harm by means of a deadly weapon to Officer Eggemen, a felony of the first degree punishable by three to eleven years in prison. As clarified by Tunnel, Dye is innocent until proven guilty, and neither Tunnell nor Chief Marcelli will offer additional information until the criminal case is resolved.

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