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U.S. deputy marshal says Mollett fired at officers

Mar. 12—LIMA — Testimony got underway Tuesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court in the trial of Carl Mollett, charged with discharging a firearm at law enforcement officers after barricading himself inside a Lima home last summer to avoid arrest on gross sexual imposition allegations.

Mollett, 32, was indicted by an Allen County grand jury in September on five counts of felonious assault, each with firearm and repeat violent offender specifications, and two counts of having weapons under disability.

Allen County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cecily Stewart in her opening remarks to jurors said evidence and testimony during the trial will show that Mollett discharged a weapon from inside a house at 2244 E. Fourth St. in the direction of four U.S. deputy marshals and assorted local law enforcement officials who were attempting to serve a warrant on him.

Tyler Elliot, a deputy U.S. Marshal, took the stand Tuesday as the state's first witness. He said that on July 28 of last year he and three other members of the U.S. Marshall's Service, accompanied by members of the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force and the Allen County Sheriff's Office, went to a residence at 2244 E. Fourth Street in Lima to serve a warrant on Mollett, who was wanted out of Franklin County on a charge of gross sexual imposition.

Elliott said that after several verbal commands for Mollett to exit the building were ignored, the marshals breached the front door of the Fourth Street home with a battering ram. Within seconds two shots rang out from inside the dwelling, sending the officers to seek shelter, he said. The U.S. marshal said at one point a male voice coming from inside the home could be heard saying "I'm not going back."

According to court documents Mollett stated several times he would not be taken alive and would shoot anyone who entered the residence.

Elliott said more shots were fired at officers — perhaps as many as four — before an Allen-Auglaize County SWAT unit was contacted to resolve the standoff. Mollett eventually exited the dwelling "and was taken into custody by local law enforcement," the deputy marshal said.

Court records indicate a female also exited the home and told police she and Mollett had been on the run for the past month to avoid his arrest.

Testimony in the trial will resume Wednesday morning.