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Grand jury returns ‘no bill’ for detective: Bollinger ‘acted reasonably’

Citizens on this month’s Lawrence County grand jury determined a sheriff’s office detective was justified in the November shooting of a Kitts Hill man, who died as a result.

According to information from the office of Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson, a grand jury this week returned a no bill for Lawrence County Detective Sgt. Aaron Bollinger, who shot and killed Ernest F. McKnight Jr., 64, during the execution of a search warrant at the man’s home.

“They made the determination that he (Bollinger) acted reasonably in the shooting and they did not wish to indict him,” Anderson said.

On Nov. 4, the sheriff’s office and the county drug and major crimes task force executed a search warrant concerning trafficking in drugs at a home in Kitts Hill.

When the deputies entered the house, they were confronted by McKnight, who had a weapon, according to a sheriff’s office release at the time.

McKnight was ordered to put down his rifle, which he refused to do, according to the sheriff’s office. Bollinger, in fear for his life, fired once. McKnight was pronounced dead at the scene.

This past week, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation released its findings on the shooting, which also determined the shooting was justified. Bollinger had been on paid administrative leave until the report was finished. He returned to work on Jan. 20.

The following are indictments filed this week by the prosecutor’s office:

• Tony D. Edwards, 36, of 125 Township Road 1161 Lot 16C, Proctorville, theft;

• Charles D. Baldridge, 38, of 455 29th St., Ashland, receiving stolen property;

• Charles L. Lawson, 22, of 8223 Orangeburg Road, Maysville, Kentucky, receiving stolen property;

• Brent Lewis, 33, of 6451 County Road 21, Proctorville, possession of heroin and trafficking in drugs;

• Greg Mays, 32, of 1251 Township Road 13, Ironton, two counts of breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools and resisting arrest;

• Daniel P. Porter, 25, of 2120 Neighborhood Road, Gallipolis, burglary;

• Michael T. Shong Jr., 24, of 2112 State Route 325 N., Bidwell, burglary;

• Martin W. Payne, 28, of 3789 Redmond Ridge Road, Gallipolis Ferry, West Virginia, burglary;

• Craig A. Barker, 55, address listed at the Lawrence County Jail, resisting arrest;

• Charles F. Schob II, 44, of 609 Cliff St., Ironton, possession of drugs;

• Robert R. Joy, 87 County Road 618, South Point, robbery and criminal damaging;

• Robert W. Browning, 27, of 751 State Route 522, Pedro, breaking and entering and theft;

• Dean J. Fields, 790 County Road 27, Pedro, domestic violence;

• Aaron T. Workman, 512 State Route 373, Pedro, tampering with evidence, burglary, possession of drugs and endangering children;

• Kelli L. Vickers, 34, 412 S. Ninth St. Apt. 3, Ironton, two counts of trafficking in drugs; and

• Christina D. Anderson, 36, of 2033 State Route 243, Ironton, three counts of possession of drugs.

There were also six secret indictments filed.

An indictment is a formal allegation that an individual has committed a crime. The accused are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.