Detective testifies Mollett threatened to kill anyone entering his home

Mar. 13—LIMA — Testimony in the jury trial of Carl Mollett, charged with shooting at law enforcement officials from inside a Lima residence last summer, came from several different sources on Wednesday — including two individuals who had previously said they would not testify against the Lima man.

Mollett, 32, is on trial in Allen County Common Pleas Court after being indicted on five counts of felonious assault and two counts of having weapons under disability. Prosecutors say he fired a weapon at U.S. marshals and local law enforcement officers in July of last year as they attempted to serve him with a warrant on alleged sex offenses out of Franklin County.

Mollett held police at bay for several hours on the morning of July 28 by refusing commands to exit the home owned by his father at 2244 E. Fourth Street.

Taking the witness stand Wednesday was Detective Russ Hunlock of the Allen County Sheriff's Office. Hunlock was part of a Hostage Negotiation Team and sat next to lead negotiator Lt. Brett Rider as Rider attempted to talk Mollett into ending the standoff without incident.

"Lt. Rider asked him how this could be resolved, and (Mollett) said it could not be resolved peacefully," Hunlock said. "He said people were going to die and that if anyone tried to enter the home he would kill them. Lt. Rider asked him why he had shot at officers and he said 'because they kicked my door in.'"

The standoff eventually ended when Josh Bayer, the commander at the time of the Allen County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, made the decision to fire tear gas canisters into the home. Both Mollett and Amber Robertson, who described herself as Mollett's girlfriend, exited the house with their hands in the air and were taken into custody without incident.

Bayer testified that the SWAT team was called into action after it was learned that Mollett may be holding a hostage inside the home. He said the decision to use tear gas to drive Mollett out of the house was made after a total of five gunshots were discharged from inside the home.

Robertson, along with Edgar Mollett, the defendant's father, were called as "court witnesses" to start the day on Wednesday. Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Everhart requested the unusual designation because he said the state "believes their testimony will differ from what they told detectives."

A motion filed earlier by prosecutors said recorded jail calls between Carl Mollett and his father and girlfriend revealed that both individuals indicated they "will not testify for the prosecution." Both took the stand on Wednesday.

Robertson said she and Carl Mollett had spent the night of July 27 at the East Fourth Street home owned by Edgar Mollett, but the defendant's father testified that he spent the night alone in the residence before leaving early the following morning to go to Columbus.

Robertson told jurors that she and Carl Mollett had been a couple since December of 2022 but denied they were "on the run" from authorities in Columbus when they came to Lima. Asked if she had used those words when speaking with detectives, Robertson said she told investigators "we were trying to save some money for the Franklin County case but we were not necessarily on the run."

The girl said when U.S. marshals arrived at the East Fourth Street residence and knocked on the door she was told by Mollett to go to a back bedroom. Everhart asked Robertson if she saw Mollett with a handgun. The woman said she had not.

"But didn't you tell detectives you saw Carl Mollett with a black handgun in his hands?" the prosecutor asked.

"I said I didn't know," Robertson replied. "I told detectives I think he shot the gun, but I said I didn't know for sure. I'm not sure if he had a gun, but I do know there were guns in the house."

Asked by Everhart if she still loved Carl Mollett, the young woman replied, "Yes, and I always will."

Edgar Mollett testified that a .22 caliber pistol, .22 caliber rifle, three 9mm handguns and an AR-15 style rifle were in the home when police arrived. The weapon allegedly used to fire shots at law enforcement was never located.

The trial will resume Thursday morning.