WILMINGTON — A Clinton County grand jury has indicted Jamie McLaughlin, 31, with attempted murder in the May 2 shooting of his girlfriend, Mary Neace, 28, at 138 Orchard View Lane in Blanchester, according to Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.
The indictment handed down against McLaughlin contains 10 counts which span three crimes, Reinbolt said:
• The shooting and assault on May 2 after which Neace was hospitalized with serious injuries.
• A May 6 incident McLaughlin was arrested and charged with aggravated menacing for allegedly brandishing a machete and threatening two people who had spent the night at his home.
• Stolen property recovered during execution of a search warrant at McLaughlin’s home on May 7.
The indictment charges attempted murder, felonious assault, three counts of abduction, assault, having a weapon under disability, two courts of aggravated menacing and one count of receiving stolen property, Reinbolt said.
“Within 24 hours of this incident, the police department was under extreme pressure from various quarters to make an immediate arrest,” Reinbolt stated in a Thursday press release. “In a May 3 interview with the Wilmington News Journal, I stated that I would take the criticism without further comment in order to preserve the integrity of the investigative process. That process starts with a thorough investigation and ends with grand jury action. The investigative process is now complete.
“In this case, the victim herself initially told investigating officers the shooting was accidental,” said Reinbolt. “During the 12-day investigation, we gathered evidence suggesting the shooting was not accidental and that Ms. Neace sustained other injuries during the incident that were inflicted with criminal intent.
”The evidence we gathered was presented to the grand jury. It is apparent the grand jury found that evidence sufficient to convince them the shooting was intentional and that injuries inflicted on Ms. Neace were done with criminal intent.”
The Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office attorney for the case was not immediately available for comment Thursday afternoon.