Westerville Police Chief: Quentin Smith trial ’emotionally brutal’ for department

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WESTERVILLE (WCMH) — The Westerville police chief released a statement on Friday after Quentin Smith was found guilty on all charges in the 2018 shooting deaths of Westerville police officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering.

Chief Charles Chandler said in the statement this week has been “emotionally brutal” on the Westerville police department and thanked those who have supported the department since the tragedy.

This week has been another difficult step in grieving the loss of Officers Tony Morelli and Eric Joering.

It has been emotionally brutal for our department and our community to relive February 10, 2018. I want to first express my gratitude for all of those who have offered support or words of encouragement this week.  The support, care and concern of the entire Westerville community, indeed all of Central Ohio, throughout this ordeal has been nothing short of phenomenal and on behalf of the entire Westerville Division of Police, I wish to express my deepest appreciation.

The Westerville Division of Police put its trust in the judicial system. We want to express our appreciation for Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien as well as those in his office for delivering an Aggravated Murder conviction.

More than 19 months ago, when this act took place, we made a clear and conscious decision as a department to focus our attention on our fallen brothers. We have said very little about the offender who committed this despicable crime, and we will continue to honor that decision.

Instead, we continue to offer our love and support to the Morelli and Joering families. It is our hope that when the sentencing portion of the proceedings are finished it brings additional peace and comfort to their healing process.

I am proud of the entire department who braced for this day. In particular, retired Officer Ray and Officers Mason, Pentecost, Betts, Phillips and Corporal Jack Johnson whose courage on the stand honored Tony and Eric’s memory.

WPD remains “Westerville Strong.”

Westerville Police Chief Charles Chandler

Morelli and Joering were killed were shot and killed on Feb. 10, 2018, after responding to a 911 hangup call from an apartment with a known history of domestic violence.

Joering died at the scene. Morelli, who was shot in the chest through a gap in the side of his bulletproof vest, died later that day at the hospital.

Smith found guilty of two counts each of aggravated murder and murder, one count of domestic violence and having weapons under disability.

He faces the death penalty.

The sentencing phase of the trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday; watch live on NBC4i.com and download the NBC4 app to receive alerts. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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