TOLEDO -- Two teens involved in the shooting of a Toledo Police vice detective have now faced a judge. 15-year-old Robert Jobe appeared before a juvenile judge in Toledo Thursday afternoon. 19-year-old Sherman Powell appeared in Toledo Municipal Court Thursday morning.
Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel was killed by a single bullet to the chest after a confrontation in north Toledo on Wednesday. Police Chief Mike Navarre says Dressel and two other undercover officers stopped two people on Ontario Street around 2:00am. When the officers identified themselves as police, the two suspects ran.
Officer Todd Miller and Detective William Bragg were able to run after Powell, and take him into custody. Dressel ran after Jobe, confronted him, and exchanged gunfire. Dressel was hit with the fatal shot. Jobe was not wounded.
According to police, Powell was carrying a gun in his hand that was cocked, loaded and ready to shoot when he was arrested. Officers tackled him down to the sidewalk and arrested him at the scene. In court, Powell faced a municipal court judge for charges of carrying a concealed weapon, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. He asked for a court-appointed attorney as his family tries to hire their own.
His mother talked to News 11 after the hearing, claiming Powell got down on the ground just before the shooting but was still attacked by police. "Putting a gun to his throat saying, 'I could kill you now and nobody would know,' Sticking stuff in his ears," said Tracy Scott, Powell's mother. "His teeth are messed up. They hit him in the mouth with a flashlight. His teeth are chipped."
Police Chief Mike Navarre addressed those concerns in his Thursday morning news conference. "I didn't see any lacerations, evidence of him being struck. There were no broken bones," said Navarre. "The injuries that I saw were consistent with someone being tackled on pavement."
Chief Navarre says he will look into all accusations but one supervisor says the officers who arrested Powell showed restraint, especially after finding the loaded gun that was in his hand.
As for the accused shooter, 15-year-old Robert Jobe, he has a hearing in juvenile court this afternoon. In cases like this one in which the youth has a long history of offenses and commits a serious offense, prosecutors will usually file to have the case transferred to adult court. Because Jobe is 15, it is considered a discretionary transfer. That means:
- Prosecution has to prove probable cause first.
- There's an extensive study of youth's psychological state, social history, background info.
- Court has to decide whether or not the youth can be rehabbilitated in the juvenile justice system before he's 21.
Even if Jobe is charged as an adult, he cannot face the death penalty. "The Supreme Court of the United States has declared that the death penalty for youth -- persons under the age of 18 -- is cruel and unusual punishment and therefore cannot be imposed," said Juvenile Judge James Ray.
Who is Robert Jobe? Juvenile records are sealed, but we know Jobe was on probabtion. Known on the street as Bobby White, or B-White, Jobe reportedly attended Phoenix Academy, a Toledo-area charter school.
Jobe's next door neighbor Bill MacAuley says he knows the family well and he's shocked by what's happened with the shooting. "My heart goes out to the officer and his family. And also to the mother because she's tried to keep him from doing wrong," said MacAuley.
Dressel was first hired as a Toledo Police officer in 1993. Police Chief Mike Navarre says his current assignment was in the vice/narcotics bureau. Navarre says he also worked in field operations and communications. His personnel file says he was commended for bravery in 1998, when he ran into a burning building on Bancroft, and helped save an elderly man from the fire.
Navarre says Dressel was not wearing a bullet-resistant vest, nor was he required to as an undercover vice detective. The Lucas County Coroner says Dressel died of a single gunshot wound that perforated his heart. The case was ruled a homicide.
Dressel is survived by his wife and two children, ages 6 and 4.
The last time a Toledo Police officer was killed in the line of duty was September, 18, 1970. Patrolman William Miscannon was shot and killed during a turbulent time in Toledo when race relations were very strained. Miscannon was just 33-years-old and the father of four.
A suspect was arrested for Miscannon's murder, and he went on trial twice, but each time the case ended with a hung jury.
The web site Ohio's Fallen Officers says a total of 31 police officers have been killed in the line of duty in the city of Toledo. Dressel's death would make the total 32. The site says Ohio ranks 5th in the nation for deaths in the line of duty.