03/22/2006

Grand jury refuses to indict in training exercise death at Pa. station

The Associated Press

ALLENTOWN, Pa.- A grand jury has declined to indict anyone in the fatal shooting of a police officer during a training exercise a year ago, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Officer Jesse Sollman, 36, was shot in the back on March 25, 2005, while training with another officer in their police station in the eastern Pennsylvania town of Easton.

The other officer, Matthew Renninger, was put on paid administrative leave while state police investigated.

Renninger's attorney Gary Asteak called the death an "unfortunate accident" and said he wouldn't discuss the case.

Few details have been released about the shooting. The Lehigh County coroner, Scott Grim, ruled Sollman's death a homicide but did not release details.

Sollman was the first police officer killed on duty since 1930 in Easton, a city of about 26,000 on the Delaware River. He had been credited with helping rescue two people in a 1996 fire, apprehending a carjacking suspect and catching a shooting suspect in 1999.

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