Murder on trial for the Death Penalty

Columbus man Shoots officers responding to a 9-1-1 hang up call


Quentin Smith, age 32 at far right

Emma Roe

On February 10, 2018, in Columbus Ohio, Quentin Smith, 32, assaulted his wife who had made a 9-1-1 call to report his abusive nature. When officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering arrived at the scene, Smith murdered them, leaving their families shocked and fatherless.

Last Monday, Smith was tried and found guilty of the 2 murders and domestic violence. Since he had purposely killed more than one person, it was revealed that he had become eligible for the death penalty.

According to 10TV, the widows of the deceased officers asked 10TV to avoid showing their faces while they testified before the jury. Linda Morelli, the wife of the late officer Morelli, revealed that she and her husband had been married for 30 years and due to his untimely death, Anthony Morelli had been killed 4 months before their daughter’s wedding. Instead of her father’s arm, Morelli’s daughter had a heart made from his shirt, sewn into her dress.

“Tony looked forward to walking our daughter down the aisle at her wedding last year. But he wasn’t there. Tony won’t see his son get married someday and watch him become a father,” said Morelli, during her turn at the stand.

As the trial went on, the defense warned jurors that they are to make their decisions free of bias, prejudice and emotion. Jami Joering, widow of Eric Joering, had even spoken to her husband moments before he was sent on what would be his final call.

“We hung up and I texted him to say something felt off and I wanted to vomit; I attempted to contact him again at 12:21, except this time, no response. Later, I found out that it was because he had been murdered,” said Joering.

WBNS 10TV also states that Joering said that her 6 year old  couldn’t understand why someone would do such a thing. In her innocence, the first thing she told her mother, was that she didn’t have anything black to wear so she could look pretty for her dad. 

When the defense was called up, it was said that not only is Smith mentally ill, but he had a chaotic and abusive upbringing. According to Wosu, that doesn’t change the fact that he gunned down two officers in front of his 15 month old daughter. 

Later in the week on Wednesday, the jury recommended two life sentences without parole for convicted cop killer although they were dead locked on the death penalty. The verdict could come down to life in prison or death when his sentence is determined within the next few weeks.