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Murder charge filed in Ohio officer’s death

The Associated Press
Read Officer Down: Jason West

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A man accused of fatally shooting a police officer shouted profanities during his first court appearance on an aggravated murder charge and claimed self-defense.

Cleveland Heights Municipal Judge A. Deane Buchanan denied bond Wednesday for Timothy Halton Jr., 27. He was in custody Thursday at Cuyahoga County jail, according to Cleveland Heights police.

Officer Jason West, 31, was shot about 10 p.m. Friday after police in this Cleveland suburb tried to break up a large crowd that had gathered to watch a fight, authorities said.

West was shot in the face as he got out of his police cruiser, which was blocking the driveway as a sport utility vehicle tried to leave the scene of the fight, authorities said. The driver of the SUV fired at least five shots, police Chief Martin Lentz has said.

Two other officers returned fire but did not hit the suspect, who was found a short time later hiding in a nearby home that he broke into, police said.

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