BLANCHESTER — A Blanchester man who allegedly shot his girlfriend during a May 2 incident is now facing several charges.
Jamie Lee McLaughlin, 31, is currently being held in the Clinton County Jail.
On Friday police were able to conduct their first interview with Mary Neace, 28, the person police say was shot with a 9mm Glock pistol at 138 Orchard View Lane.
“Up to that point, her medical condition prevented this important step,” Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said. “Her Friday interview was not as comprehensive as we had hoped due to her medical condition.”
Over the weekend officers interviewed people in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred and conducted follow-up interviews with McLaughlin, Reinbolt said.
On Monday morning “an officer returned to the hospital to interview Ms. Neace in more detail. She was able to provide more comprehensive information than she was able to provide on Friday,” said Reinbolt.
“At this point, the evidence still indicates that the shooting was accidental,” Reinbolt said in a Monday afternoon press release. “I would point out that in this press release, as well in the May 2 press release in this matter, I have chosen my words carefully, addressing only the circumstances of the gunshot. Until this point I have remained silent as to other injuries found on Ms. Neace.
“While it may be hard for some to fathom, the evidence at this point indicates that at least some of those injuries were inflicted on Ms. Neace with her consent. We will continue to investigate in order to seek clarification on this point.”
‘Brandished a machete’
On Sunday afternoon, Reinbolt said police were called to 138 Orchard View Lane for a fight. The responding officer spoke with Tannor Ransom and Nichole Searles, both 22, of Morrow.
“Both stated they spent the night with McLaughlin on Saturday night,” said Reinbolt. “When they attempted to leave the residence on Sunday morning, McLaughlin brandished a machete and threatened them.
“McLaughlin was arrested by Ptl. Sarah Luken and a Clinton County sheriff’s deputy, and was taken to the Clinton County Jail. Ptl. Luken filed a charge of aggravated menacing, a misdemeanor offense, against McLaughlin.”
Shortly thereafter, McLaughlin’s mother posted his bond and he was released from jail, Reinbolt said.
Out of jail, arrested again
“I then instructed our officers to return to 138 Orchard View Lane and to arrest McLaughlin,” said Reinbolt. “Based on consultation with (Clinton County) Prosecuting Attorney Richard Moyer, McLaughlin was charged with having a weapon under disability, a felony charge that makes it illegal for anyone convicted of a felony of violence to possess a firearm.”
McLaughlin was arrested at his home by two Blanchester police officers.
The charge alleges that McLaughlin committed this crime on May 2 when he shot Neace. He is currently being held in the Clinton County Jail in lieu of posting a $25,000 bond.
The investigation into the shooting of Neace, the circumstances surrounding the injuries she sustained, and the threats made toward Ransom and Searles remains ongoing, said Reinbolt.
McLaughlin was convicted in Clinton County in 2008 of a fifth-degree felony — aggravated possession of drugs — and sentenced to a prison term.
There is also a drug-related third-degree felony conviction as well as a fifth-degree felony in 2007 in Greene County for which he was sentenced to prison time and forfeiture of a vehicle.
The Wilmington News Journal reported that a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order was filed in Greene County in 2015 against McLaughlin and was in effect from May 12, 2015 until April 22, 2016, according to the Greene County Clerk of Courts.
According to Clinton County Municipal Court, McLaughlin was charged with driving under suspension March 26. On April 13 he failed to appear in court and an arraignment was set for May 17.
A disorderly conduct charge in October in Clinton County was dismissed.