Eric Spicer Trial to Start Tomorrow

Former Sheriff's Deputy Goes on Trial For Firearms Violation, Signature Forging

Eric Spicer, the former Greene County Sheriff's deputy will appear before Judge Michael Barrett tomorrow in a federal court in Dayton. The original trial date was set for July 14 but Spicer’s attorney, John Smith, asked for the change due to “voluminous discovery already provided by the government” according to court documents.

A seven-count indictment was brought against Eric A. Spicer, 44, alleging that he forged Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer’s name on documents he provided to a firearms dealer in New York in 2009 in order to purchase a fully automatic machine gun.

The forged documents claimed that the machine gun would be used for official law enforcement purposes, however Spicer took the machine gun home.  Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seized the weapon from Spicer’s home in March.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATF) began investigating Spicer, executed a search warrant at his home in March 2014 and confiscated the machine gun. According to a release from the office of Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, at the time of the search Spicer told the ATF that he was a sworn and commissioned police officer of the Jackson Township Police Department, which was not a truthful statement.

The indictment brought against Spicer is for one count each of illegal possession of a machine gun making a false statement in conjunction with the purchase of a firearm, making a false statement to a law enforcement official, possession of an unregistered firearm, and possession of a firearm transferred in violation of the National firearms Act.

If convicted on all counts, Spicer could spend more than 65 years in prison.

In addition, Spicer was fired from his position with the Greene County Sheriff Department in March 2014.  He has been on suspended duty in that position as a result of a standoff with a mentally ill man in Yellow Springs, resulting in the man's death.  Paul Shenk, the suspect, died after being shot by a Sheriff's sniper.  The investigation of that incident found that Spicer committed many errors in managing the response to the standoff, causing him to be placed on suspension.

Spicer was relieved of his duties in Greene County earlier this year following a 2013 standoff in Yellow Springs in which the suspect was shot and killed. Attorney General Mike DeWine did an investigation, as did the Montgomery County Sheriff at the request of Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer. The Montgomery County report cited Spicer for several improper actions during the standoff.

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