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Anthony Pierson makes bid for Franklin County prosecutor, will continue on Adam Coy murder trial

Pierson for Prosecutor

On his first day as Deputy Chief Counsel for Franklin County, Anthony Pierson, a Democrat, announced his bid for Franklin County Prosecutor.

Sitting County Prosecutor G. Gary Tyack, also a Democrat, has said he will not seek re-election. His term ends in January 2025.

Pierson said becoming county prosecutor is the goal he’s been working toward through his more than 20-year career. He noted that when he was about 10 years old, his mother, a beautician, was robbed at gunpoint at a gas station. He remembers his parents reactions.

“And I just vividly remember them being so frustrated that the guy who did this was not held accountable,” Pierson said.

Pierson said he fell in love with the mission of holding people accountable for the crimes they commit, “whether they're police officers or corrections officers or gang members or our murdering spouses.”

While at the state Attorney General’s Office, Pierson was the lead prosecutor in the case against former Columbus Police officer Adam Coy, accused of shooting and killing 47-year-old Andre Hill, a Black man. Coy was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle when he fired his gun at Hill, hitting him four times, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

A state grand jury indicted Coy on murder and other charges. Coy’s case is being returned to Franklin County Common Pleas Court, where Pierson will continue as prosecutor. The murder trial is currently delayed until at least July as Coy, who was diagnosed with cancer, undergoes treatment.

Pierson said a case being turned back over to the county court is not necessarily common, but it does happen. Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement, “this transition will help maintain consistency in prosecutorial efforts.”

In his current role with the county, Pierson said he wants to increase the minority presence in the county prosecutor’s office, so it better reflects the community it serves.

“Having the system reflect the people that it is prosecuting gives more faith and more credibility to our system, which is really lacking in today's criminal justice system,” he said.

Pierson said if elected, he would continue that effort.

“But my ultimate goal as a prosecutor has been and will continue to be that people feel that they are treated fairly,” Pierson said.

Allie Vugrincic has been a radio reporter at WOSU 89.7 NPR News since March 2023.