Grand jury indicts suspect in Terre Haute officer’s slaying

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A federal grand jury indicted an Indiana man Wednesday on charges that would make him eligible for the death penalty if he’s convicted in the fatal shooting of a Terre Haute police detective and FBI task force officer.

Shane Meehan, 45, of Terre Haute, was indicted on charges of murder of a federal officer, attempted arson of federal property and using a firearm during a crime of violence causing death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana said in a news release Wednesday.

The charges stem from the July 7 killing of Officer Gregory Ferency.

The murder and firearms charges are capital-eligible offenses, punishable by lifetime imprisonment or death. If the U.S. attorney general finds the circumstances of the crimes justify a death sentence, the law requires that notice be filed with the court at a reasonable time before the trial.

Ferency was 53 and the father of 18-year-old twins when he was killed in Terre Haute, a city about 70 miles west of Indianapolis.

Authorities allege Meehan threw a Molotov cocktail at an FBI office and then shot the officer as he emerged from the building. Ferency and an FBI agent both fired on Meehan, wounding him in the ambush, authorities said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray released a statement Wednesday following the indictment.

“In July, one of our longtime task force officers, Detective Greg Ferency of the Terre Haute, Indiana Police Department, was shot and killed in an ambush right outside one of our offices,” Wray said. “He sacrificed his life on that day, and it was not in vain, but rather to protect the American people — to protect each and every one of us. Today’s indictment shows that we will never stop working to safeguard the rule of law, protect the American people, and our law enforcement officers from harm.”

Meehan has been ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals, pending trial. He will make his initial appearance on the indictment before a U.S. magistrate judge at a later date.

Meehan’s attorneys have said he has a history of mental health conditions. 

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