Grand Jury Declines To Indict Columbus Officer For Traffic Stop Killing
A Franklin County grand jury has decided not to bring charges against a Columbus officer who shot and killed a man during a traffic stop last April.
Columbus Police officer Nicholas Mason and another officer stopped the car of Jason Christian, who had outstanding traffic warrants, in a gas station parking lot. Mason was dragged by a car when Christian hit the accelerator while being removed, reportedly attempting to flee the scene.
Mason fired on Christian, who was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Christian, a resident of Whitehall, had a criminal record before the incident. He previously plead guilty to receiving stolen property and recently appeared in court for felony theft and possession of criminal tools. He was also charged with breaking and entering and tampering with evidence.
Based on dash-cam and surveillance footage, the grand jury decided not to indict Mason on criminal charges. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien points out the jurors don’t address questions of civil liability or police procedure.
All police-involved shooting cases are referred to grand juries in Franklin County. In the over 20 years Ron O'Brien has served as county prosecutor, no police officer has been indicted for shooting a civilian.