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Yellow Springs standoff investigation to wrap up soon

An internal law enforcement investigation into the death of a Yellow Springs man killed during a police standoff is expected conclude soon, said Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer.

The investigation is ongoing six months after Fischer asked Montgomery County investigators to determine whether the sheriff office’s policies and procedures were followed on July 30 — the night 80 law enforcement officers responded to a Yellow Springs police officer’s call for help and 42-year-old Paul E. Schenck was killed.

Major Eric Spicer and Deputy James “Jimmie” Hughes fired their weapons during the police standoff and were placed on paid administrative leave, according to the sheriff’s office.

“From that night there were concerns that some of our policies had been violated by the major and therefore we asked for an outside investigation,” Fischer said.

During a November news conference, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Spicer led the law enforcement officers to the wrong home located three houses south of Schenck’s residence.

“Unaware that they were at the incorrect location, the Emergency Action Team remained there for approximately two hours,” DeWine said.

DeWine said Spicer attempted to enter the wrong house causing a fearful resident to dial 9-1-1.

The week after the Schenck’s death, Chief Deputy Michael Brown filed an internal complaint against Spicer for “neglect of duty,” according to documents obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

Spicer said it is frustrating to go through the process, but he can understand why the investigation has taken so long.

“I look forward to its conclusion and getting back to work for the people of Greene County,” Spicer said.

Spicer, who has worked for the sheriff’s office for almost a decade, is a law enforcement division commander. His salary and benefits totaled $87,387 last year, according to county payroll records.

“I think it’s important that they (investigators) do a diligent job so they can take all these different perspectives and pick apart what’s rumor and what’s real and put everything through the appropriate filter and hopefully be left with an accurate accounting so we can all learn from it and adjust where necessary and get back to serving Greene County citizens,” Spicer said.

In November, an Ohio Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation concluded and found Hughes fired the shot that killed Schenck. About a month later, a grand jury determined the use of force used by police was necessary and Hughes was not criminally charged.

Hughes returned to work on Oct. 9, according to the sheriff’s office, however he was placed on paid administrative leave again on Nov. 16 for medical reasons. After the grand jury hearing, Hughes returned to work on Jan. 2.

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