TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals has ruled Thomas White, an Ottawa Hills police officer found guilty of felonious assault after he shot and paralyzed a motorist, will get a new trial.
White admitted to shooting 25-year-old Michael McCloskey during a traffic stop in the early morning hours of May 29, 2009. During the trial, White testified that McCloskey was not obeying his commands, and that he believed McCloskey was reaching for a gun when he fired. It was later discovered that McCloskey was unarmed.
After being found guilty by a Lucas County jury, White was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime. White has remained out of jail during the appeals process.
The appeals court ruled that White's conviction of felonious assault with a firearm specification could not be upheld because as a police officer, he was entitled to carry a gun. The firearm specification added three years to White's sentence.
Last October, McClosky reached an out of court settlement with the village of Ottawa Hills and its insurance company for $5 million.
White has been free on a $100,000 bond while the case was in appeals court.
No pretrial hearings have been set yet.
The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office says it plans to appeal the decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Click here to read a statement from Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates on the court's decision to grant a retrial.
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