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Judge Denies Bail To Man Charged With Providing Gun In Westerville Police Killings

Jonathan Quilter
Pool Photo

A man accused of providing the gun used to kill two Westerville Police officers must remain in jail without bond.

Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Gerald Lawson of suburban Cleveland bought the handgun used by 31-year-old Quentin Smith in the February slayings of Westerville officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli.

A criminal complaint says Smith gave Lawson the money to buy the gun last summer along with $100 for completing the transaction. Smith wasn't allowed to have weapons because of a previous burglary conviction, something that federal prosecutors say Lawson knew about.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus on Monday ordered that Lawson remain in jail. Lawson has pleaded not guilty.

His attorney said Tuesday there's nothing in Lawson's history to suggest he's a danger to the community.

Smith is accused of fatally shooting 39-year-old Joering and 54-year-old Morelli at his Westerville home, where the officers were responding to a domestic violence call. He was shot and wounded during the incident, and was hospitalized for several days after.

Smith was indicted last month on aggravated murder charges, which means he could face the death penalty if convicted. Smith is being held without bail as well.