- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) - A man accused of fatally shooting a central Ohio policeman with a stolen pistol pleaded not guilty Wednesday and was jailed without bond in the potential death penalty case.

Herschel Ray Jones III was indicted on 10 counts in Knox County. His public defender, Bruce Malek, said Jones is expected to be held in neighboring Morrow County during the case because of the connection to local law enforcement.

Jones, 32, is charged with aggravated murder, grand theft and evidence tampering in the slaying of 34-year-old Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell, who was shot in the head. His body was found behind the village’s municipal building Jan. 17, after Jones’ ex-girlfriend warned police Jones was armed and “looking to kill a cop.”

Jones also is charged with assaulting that woman and with aggravated burglary, kidnapping and grand theft in a November home invasion where investigators say the pistol was taken.

Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville has declined to discuss what communication investigators have had with Jones or a possible motive for the shooting.

Malek didn’t comment on the substance of the case but said another lawyer from his office and someone the state public defender’s office also are representing Jones.

Jones has a lengthy criminal history, including nearly four years spent in prison for the receiving stolen property and possession of chemicals for manufacture of drugs. He was released in April.

His parole officer has been put on paid administrative leave pending further review, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

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