AKRON, Ohio – The jury now has found Ashford Thompson guilty of aggravated murder in the shooting death of Twinsburg police officer Josh Miktarian.
Thompson was actually found guilty of all nine counts against him, including another aggravated murder charge for fleeing after committing the crime.
Thompson sat with his arms crossed while the verdict was read, showing no emotion on his face.
(Clip of Thompson after he was taken into custody for the shooting very emotional and regretful for his actions… who really know what has happened to him during this process. )
Miktarian’s widow, Holly, and Twinsburg police officers shared hugs and tears following the announcment.
The same jury that returned Thursday’s verdict will be back next Thursday to decide whether Thompson will get the death penalty.
The verdict came in at about 11:20 a.m. Thursday. The jury got the case just before noon on Wednesday and spent the rest of the day deliberating.
More trial information:
On Tuesday, the defense rested its case after calling just one witness: Thompson’s girlfriend.
Danielle Roberson testified Thompson was “an arm’s length away” when he fired the first shot. She did not want to be videotaped while she was on the witness chair.
Defense attorney Kerry O’Brien asked Roberson, “Where did Ashford shoot the officer first?” Roberson said, “I believe the forehead.”
Roberson said Thompson then shot two more times. Roberson said she knew Thompson had a gun, but didn’t see it on the night of the killing.
She said she was a passenger in Thompson’s car when he got stopped for playing loud music just before 2 a.m. on July 13, 2008.
Roberson said she heard a verbal exchange between the officer and Thompson and, at one point, saw Thompson fall to the ground.
Roberson testified she saw Miktarian put a handcuff on Thompson and then the officer started pushing him towards the cruiser. After that, Roberson told the jury, “He (Miktarian) kind of slammed him (Thompson) on the hood of the car.”
Prosecutors said Roberson never mentioned that version of events when she was questioned by police hours after the murder.
Roberson testified she was outside of the car when she saw Thompson fire the first shot.
During cross-examination, Roberson said she asked Thompson, “Why did you do that?”
If the jury convicts Thompson of aggravated murder, he could get the death penalty.
The defense tried to convince the jury to convict Thompson of murder instead of the more serious charge of aggravated murder.