Hearing for fatal shooting


The special prosecutor that was appointed to handle the review and possible prosecution regarding a shooting death involving a Highland County sheriff’s deputy last year has requested a plea hearing be set for a bill of information, according to Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, March 23 at 1 p.m. in Highland County Common Pleas Court. The hearing is a public proceeding and anyone can attend in person or view it on the court’s YouTube channel.

Coss said he had no details on the case beyond the fact that the plea hearing was requested to be set.

Hillsboro resident Richard Jean Poulin, 58, was fatally shot July 17, 2022, by a Highland County sheriff’s deputy following an incident that began as a stop for a traffic violation, according to Steve Irwin, press secretary for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Irwin said the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) was requested by the Highland County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the fatal officer-involved shooting. The incident began as a traffic violation stop. A subsequent pursuit ended near 5760 U.S. Route 62, close to the Hillsboro Church of God, at which point the shooting occurred.

Once completed, BCI’s investigation was to be referred to Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins’ office, a press release from Irwin said.

However, Collins said Tuesday that on July 22 last year, the attorney general’s office appointed a special prosecutor for the case and that nothing pertaining to the case has ever been sent to her office.

Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera previously said that a sheriff’s deputy was involved in a shooting July 17 last year along U.S. Route 62, just south of Hillsboro. He said BCI had been called in to investigate and referred all other questions to Irwin.

No other details have been presented since shortly after the fatal shooting.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

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