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Plea Deal Reached For Man Tied To Gun That Killed Two Westerville Officers

A tribute to two Westerville officers, who were killed in an apparent ambush while responding to a 9-1-1 call.
Nick Evans

A court filing indicates a plea agreement has been reached for a man charged with providing the gun used to kill two Westerville Police officers.

Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Gerald Lawson, of suburban Cleveland, bought the handgun that 31-year-old Quentin Smith used in the February slayings of Westerville officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli.

A record of a plea agreement was filed in federal court Tuesday. Messages were left for the U.S. Attorney's office and for Lawson's attorney seeking comment.

A criminal complaint says Smith gave Lawson the money to buy the gun last summer along with $100 for completing the transaction. Smith wasn't allowed to have weapons because of a previous burglary conviction, something that prosecutors say Lawson knew about.

Lawson originally pleaded not guilty, and was being held in jail without bond.

Smith was indicted on two aggravated murder charges, which carry the possibility of a death sentence, after fatally shooting Joering and Morelli when they responded to a domestic violence call at his Westerville home. Smith was wounded in the incident, and is currently in jail after being denied bail.