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Trotwood police settle lawsuit with shooting suspect

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On May 8, 2014, Judge Mary K. Huffman, of the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, signed an agreed order of dismissal, ending a civil case that started over a year ago. The lawsuit, filed by Denton "Eddie" Little alleged that Officer Ron Smith of the Trotwood Police Department used excessive force when he shot Little in Drexel on March 25, 2012. Smith, who was on patrol and had just finished a suspicious person call, spotted Little walking near the area of Olive Road and Lorimer Avenue. Smith ordered Little to stop after observing him jay-walking. Little initially refused, the aggressively approached Smith, allegedly making movements that gave Smith the impression that Little was pulling a weapon. Smith shot Little twice in the abdomen. Although seriously wounded, Little survived. It was determined that Little was not armed.

The Montgomery County Grand Jury refused to indict Smith. The City of Trotwood planned to use the testimony of Samuel D. Faulkner, a former instructor at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council, and currently the police chief in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, a small village approximately 30 minutes west of Columbus. Alphonse Gehardstein, the attorney for Little sought to exclude Faulkner's testimony because Faulkner did not have the experience or knowledge to offer an expert opinion in this case.

As is typical in civil lawsuits, the details of the settlement were not released.

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