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Manslaughter Charges Dropped Against Officer in Man's Death

November 08, 2001|Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Prosecutors dropped an involuntary manslaughter charge Wednesday against a police officer who was acquitted last week of assaulting a black man who died in police custody.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen had been considering whether to retry Officer Robert Jorg, 30, on the felony charge. But he said no one has come forward with more details about what happened the night Roger Owensby Jr. died last fall.

Jorg was acquitted of misdemeanor assault, but jurors deadlocked on the involuntary manslaughter charge. Prosecution witnesses had varied widely about what they saw, Allen said.

Owensby, 29, died when police wrestled him to the ground and handcuffed him after he fled attempts to question him about drug trafficking. A coroner concluded the death was a homicide, caused by a chokehold or by the weight of officers piling on top of him.

Another officer, Patrick Caton, was tried separately and acquitted of misdemeanor assault.

Their trials started a month after a judge acquitted Officer Stephen Roach in the shooting of an unarmed black man who was running from police. The shooting touched off three days of rioting in April.

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