Accused Columbus cop killer could face death penalty

Lincoln Rutledge indicted on multiple charges.

Lincoln Rutledge. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – An accused cop killer in Columbus could face the death penalty if convicted.

44-year-old Lincoln Rutledge was indicted on Tuesday for aggravated murder, attempted murder, felonious assault and aggravated arson.

He’s accused of shooting Columbus SWAT officer Steven Smith in the head while officers were trying to arrest Rutledge for setting his estranged wife’s home on fire.

Officer Smith died two days after the April 10th incident.

“A law enforcement officer in the course of duty is the most serious kind of homicide there can be committed because they are out there trying to protect all the rest of us,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

Rutledge is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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