Adam Coy pleads not guilty to reckless homicide in death of Andre’ Hill

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Former Columbus police officer Adam Coy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of reckless homicide in the death of Andre’ Hill.

The judge maintained Coy’s bond at $1 million. The next court date was scheduled for June 7.

Adam Coy was indicted last week on a charge of reckless homicide after being previously indicted on charges of murder, felonious assault and two charges dereliction of duty, for failing to properly activate his body camera and for failure to inform a fellow officer that he thought Hill presented a danger.

Reckless homicide is a lesser charge compared with murder. A representative from the state attorney general’s office, which is serving as special prosecutor in the case, said the two indictments will be merged and that the charges of dereliction of duty will be dropped.

“The leading charges of the case remain – murder, an unclassified felony, and felonious assault, a felony of the second degree,” special prosecutor Anthony Pierson said. “Our case is sound and based on the facts and we are prepared to move forward with the trial.”

After the hearing, Coy’s attorney, Mark Collins, said Coy mistook a set of keys in Hill’s hand for a weapon.

Michael Wright, one of the attorneys for Hill’s family, told NBC4 that the family was consulted about dropping the misdemeanor charges and the addition of the reckless homicide charge.

“We believe that that was proper to dismiss the dereliction of duty charges and add the felony three reckless homicide charge,” he said. “We believe that that is in the best interest of trying to obtain a prosecution in this matter.”

After the hearing, Coy’s attorney, Mark Collins, said Coy mistook a set of keys in Hill’s hand for a weapon.

“Police officers are put in situations where they have to make a split-second decision,” Collins said. “[Coy] was honestly mistaken. He believed in the right hand was a silver revolver versus a round big set of keys. Based on the totality of the situation, we believe that he did that lawfully and you have to view that through the lens of a reasonable police officer.”

Coy was sent to Oberlin Drive on Dec. 22 on a report of a suspicious vehicle. He found Hill, 47, in the garage of a house where Hill was a guest. Moments later, Coy yelled to a fellow officer, “There’s a gun!” before firing four times at Hill.

Only after firing did Coy activate his body camera. Hill laid on the ground until medics arrived minutes later, and he later died at a nearby hospital. His death sparked protests around the city, coming weeks after the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. by a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy.

Coy was fired from the police force a week later.

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