Friday, May 25, 2001

Attorneys in Roach case meet in court

Special prosecutor attends hearing

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The special prosecutor handling the negligent-homicide case of Cincinnati Police Officer Stephen Roach met Mr. Roach's attorney for the first time at a pretrial hearing Thursday.

        Stephen McIntosh, chief city prosecutor in Columbus, appeared on crutches in Hamilton County Municipal Judge Ralph E. Winkler's courtroom.

        He said he had just received a packet of information regarding Officer Roach's case from the city prosecutor's officer and had begun reviewing it.

        Officer Roach, a four-year police veteran, is accused of negligent homicide and obstructing official business in the April 7 shooting death of Timothy Thomas, which touched off days of rioting and looting.

        Both charges are misdemeanors.

        The 27-year-old officer did not appear at the hearing, and his attorney, Merlyn Shiverdecker, said he would not appear in court unless the case goes to trial.

        The pretrial hearing was continued until June 20. Mr. McIntosh said he would provide Mr. Shiverdecker with evidence — statements of witnesses, reports of the investigation and other material — before June 20.

        Both the prosecutor and the attorney spoke briefly with reporters following the short hearing.

        Mr. Shiverdecker said he has not yet formally requested a trial or a change of venue.

        Mr. McIntosh said it is too soon to say if he would consider a plea agreement.


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