Ohio

Suspect in Ohio officer's killing passes on initial hearing

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Columbus Division of Police shows police SWAT Officer Steven M. Smith. The Ohio police officer died Tuesday, April 12, 2016, two days after he was critically wounded when a man opened fire on a SWAT team trying to arrest him. (Columbus Division of Police via AP, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Columbus Division of Police shows police SWAT Officer Steven M. Smith. The Ohio police officer died Tuesday, April 12, 2016, two days after he was critically wounded when a man opened fire on a SWAT team trying to arrest him. (Columbus Division of Police via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Columbus, Ohio, shows Lincoln Rutledge. Rutledge is accused of opening fire on a SWAT team trying to arrest him and critically wounding an Ohio police officer who remains on life support. A Franklin County judge on Tuesday ordered the 44-year-old Columbus resident held without bond on charges including felonious assault and aggravated arson. (Franklin County Sheriff's Office via AP)

    This photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Columbus, Ohio, shows Lincoln Rutledge. Rutledge is accused of opening fire on a SWAT team trying to arrest him and critically wounding an Ohio police officer who remains on life support. A Franklin County judge on Tuesday ordered the 44-year-old Columbus resident held without bond on charges including felonious assault and aggravated arson. (Franklin County Sheriff's Office via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The suspect in the death of an Ohio police officer has given up his right to an initial court hearing.

The decision Thursday by Lincoln Rutledge means the state now has nearly two months before an indictment must be issued.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien says the extra time allows both sides to research the case and for Rutledge's attorneys to argue against making the indictment a death penalty case. Ohio law includes killing a police officer as a factor that can lead to capital punishment.

A message was left with the public defender's office representing the 44-year-old Rutledge.

Earlier Thursday, dozens of police cruisers escorted slain Columbus SWAT officer Steven Smith's body to a funeral home. Smith died Tuesday, two days after being shot.