Man charged in shooting officer's home wants trial moved

July 15, 2016

A man accused of shooting at the home of an Indianapolis police officer days after a sniper killed five Dallas police officers told a judge Friday he doesn't believe he can get a fair trial in the Indianapolis area.

March E. Ratney II, who was paroled from prison in June and whose court records indicate has threatened police before, told Marion Superior Court Commissioner James Snyder during a hearing that he wants to be tried outside of Marion County.

"I don't feel like I'm going to get a fair trial with all the media reporting my background," the 27-year-old said, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The judge told Ratney, who has not entered a plea for charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious felon and criminal recklessness, he should take up the issue with his public defender.

Ratney is accused of firing at least 15 shots into the home and the officer's squad car early Tuesday. Witnesses said the shooter shouted obscenities about police, according to court records. The officer was awake at the time of the shooting, but his wife and 10-year-old son were sleeping. No one was injured.

Ratney was arrested about a half-hour after shooting, and told officers he was not involved, according to court records.

The officer arrested Ratney eight years earlier on a weapons charge, though it isn't clear whether that played a role in the shooting.

Ratney was paroled in June after serving almost six years of a 12-year prison sentence for unlawful firearm possession by a serious felon. In that case, prosecutors said he was carrying a handgun and threatening to kill police and their families, according to court records.

Tuesday's shooting happened five days after a man killed five Dallas police officers who were standing guard during a peaceful protest of recent fatal shootings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Ratney is scheduled to return to court Oct. 20.


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