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Cops and Courts

Testimony indicates around 50 AR-15 shell casings found at Sheffield Lake standoff site

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    BCI Firearms Expert Dylan Matt testifies in court on Thursday afternoon, February 28 as defendent Martin Robinson's defense attorney Reid Yoder questions him on Thursday afternoon, February 28.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

  • 022819-MARTIN-ROBINSON-KB01

    Martin Robinson appears in Judge Chris Cook's court next to his defense attorney Reid Yoder during his attempted murder trial, in connection to the shooting of Officer Eugene Ptacek, on Thursday afternoon, February 28.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

  • 022819-MARTIN-ROBINSON-KB02

    Martin Robinson appears in Judge Chris Cook's court during his attempted murder trial, in connection to the shooting of Officer Eugene Ptacek, on Thursday afternoon, February 28. Robinson carried a bible into the court room.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — About 50 casings from rounds fired from AR-15s were recovered from the scene of a shootout that occurred at the Sheffield Lake home of Martin Robinson in May during a standoff, according to a firearms expert from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

Thursday was the sixth day of the trial of Robinson, 40, who is charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Amherst police officer and Lorain County SWAT team member Eugene “J.R.” Ptacek during the standoff May 31. U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and Lorain County SWAT were trying to arrest Robinson on a warrant out of Cuyahoga County, but Robinson barricaded himself inside his home, according to testimony.

Thursday’s testimony consisted of the jury being walked through photos of the crime scene, testimony from a ballistics expert and a cell phone records expert from AT&T.

On the date of the incident, after hours of trying to make contact with Robinson through loudspeaker announcements, phone calls, text messages and video messages, law enforcement officials decided to breach the front door of the home to try to make contact and place a robot inside. Ptacek was the officer tasked with trying to open the door with a battering ram and, when he succeeded, he was shot with shotgun slug that came from inside the house, according to testimony.

SWAT team members returned fire, and testimony has said Robinson was struck three times. The standoff continued for hours after the gunfire ceased.

After Robinson turned himself into the custody of U.S. Marshals shortly after midnight on June 1, the investigation into the incident was turned over to the Elyria Police Department, which Elyria police Officer Michael Mahony said was common practice in situations like the one that occurred at Robinson’s home.

Mahony was one of the crime scene technicians who helped process the scene in the days after the shootout.

Dylan Matt, a firearms expert from BCI, testified that he ran ballistics tests on about 50 spent casings from rounds fired from AR-15 rifles, which are the guns the SWAT team members used during the standoff, according to testimony. Four casings were found inside the home, two from a 20-gauge shotgun and two from a 9 mm pistol.

Testimony will continue Monday morning.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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