Warren County, OH – The gunman who shot a Middletown police officer during a pursuit while out on parole in 2020 has been sentenced to decades behind bars.
Career criminal Christopher Hubbard, 38, was sentenced to an indefinite term of 56 to 61-and-one-half years in prison on Jan. 23, Warrant County Prosecutor David Fornshell said in a press release.
A jury convicted Hubbard on Jan. 9 on three counts of felonious assault with firearm specifications, having weapons while under disability, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer with a firearm specification, assaulting a police dog, and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
He was found not guilty of attempted aggravated murder, the Dayton Daily News reported.
The jury deliberated for approximately two hours.
“His statement was, ‘I am going to get in a shootout with police.’ Not necessarily I am going to murder a police officer,” Fornshell told the Dayton Daily News. “At the end of the day the jury found that he obviously understood that those were police officers and he did exactly what he said he was going to do, which was get into a shootout with them, to the extent that they made any attempt to take him back to prison.”
Middletown officer Dennis Jordan promoted to sergeant during tonight’s Middletown City Council meeting. He was pinned by his wife Holly Owens, a fellow police officer @journalnews @MPDOhio pic.twitter.com/M0cAQkxldd
— Rick McCrabb (@rickmccrabb) August 16, 2022
The series of events leading to the shooting began on Aug. 31, 2020, as law enforcement officers were searching for Hubbard in connection with a homicide investigation in Hamilton, The Enquirer reported at the time.
In addition to being a “person of interest” in the homicide, Hubbard also had an active warrant out for his arrest due to a parole violation, according to Hamilton Police Department (HPD) Chief Craig Bucheit.
Officers spotted the suspect in the area of Todhunter Road and Hamilton-Middletown Road in Monroe and tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones told The Enquirer shortly after the incident occurred.
Sheriff Jones said that during the ensuing pursuit, area law enforcement agencies received information that the convicted felon was armed and that he had vowed to “shoot it out with police.”
Christoper Hubbard is accused of attempting to kill Middletown Police officer Dennis Jordan in 2020 in Turtlecreek Twp. Hubbard’s trial started this week and this morning, jurors heard from Officer Jordan @wlwt pic.twitter.com/amE0MRIbD5
— Karin Johnson WLWT (@karinjohnson) January 4, 2023
Investigators later said Hubbard had told his parole officer and family members days earlier that he was not going back to prison and that he would get into a shootout with law enforcement officers if they tried to lock him up, the Dayton Daily News reported.
The pursuit stretched on over 28 miles before an Ohio State Patrol (OSP) trooper was able to disable Hubbard’s vehicle on North Mason-Montgomery Road in Turtle Creek Township using stop sticks, according to Fornshell.
The suspect then drove his vehicle through the front yard of a home and continued driving “right up to the house,” the prosecutor said.
Sgt Jordan is in the courtroom along with K9 Koda. Koda was shot at during the shootout but not injured. @wlwt pic.twitter.com/QRWZCbDFcl
— Karin Johnson WLWT (@karinjohnson) January 23, 2023
Law enforcement officers from the Middletown Police Department (MPD), the Butler County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), the OSP, and multiple other agencies immediately swarmed the suspect’s vehicle, but Hubbard “ignored several commands given by law enforcement to show his hands and surrender,” Fornshell wrote.
When officers sent MPD K9 Koda in to apprehend the violent suspect, Hubbard suddenly opened fire on them, WXIX reported.
K9 Koda’s handler, MPD Sergeant Dennis Jordan, was shot in his tricep, leg, and hand during the attack.
Two other law enforcement officers “were also in the line of fire” when Hubbard attacked, but they were not struck by his bullets, Fornshell wrote.
K9 Koda was not hit by gunfire, according to the Dayton Daily News.
“Hubbard fired repeatedly at the officers, discharging five rounds before Hubbard’s gun jammed,” Fornshell said.
Eight officers returned fire, hitting the suspect between 11 and 15 times, Sheriff Jones told The Enquirer.
Sgt. Jordan, a 23-year veteran of the MPD, survived his wounds and was off the job for about four months while he recovered from his injuries, Fornshell said.
Hubbard’s defense attorneys argued during his four-day trial that the felon was acting in self-defense when he shot at police, the Dayton Daily News reported.
They alleged the pursuit triggered Hubbard’s post-traumatic stress disorder and that he feared for his life when K9 Koda lunged at him through his car window.
Christopher James Hubbard, the man accused of shooting Middletown police officer Denny Jordan was just released from prison in April after serving time for drug trafficking and weapons convictions. @wlwt pic.twitter.com/lLz9Lar097
— Karin Johnson WLWT (@karinjohnson) September 1, 2020
Hubbard’s lengthy criminal record includes convictions for attempted robbery, burglary, theft, and receiving stolen property, according to WXIX.
The dates and duration of his prior prison sentences were unclear.