By Frank Lewis
Bond has been set at $250,000 cash or surety and the date of March 7 at 2 p.m. for a pretrial hearing for a man charged with attempted murder. John Locher, 63, appeared in the courtroom of Scioto County Common Pleas Judge William T. Marshall Tuesday afternoon with one of his attorneys Andrew Hanes. Locher is also represented by Rick Faulkner.
Locher was indicted on four counts of attempted murder, four counts of felonious assault and one count of firing into a dwelling.
On Oct. 26, 2013, residents of the Hudson House on Fifth Street in Portsmouth heard shots ring out and raced for safety as a man fired several rounds and then barricaded himself in his fifth floor room. Portsmouth Police Chief Rob Ware said approximately 20-25 shots were fired through the door of his apartment, many of them going into the apartment across the hallway.
Authorities quickly arrived and evacuated the woman trapped in the apartment at the receiving end of the gunfire while creating a three-block perimeter around the apartment complex. The woman was removed from the building through a window via a Portsmouth Fire Department ladder truck. Many residents were moved to the lobby for safety.
The shots and subsequent standoff with authorities began at 10:39 a.m. and several law enforcement agencies gathered in the parking lot and surrounding streets of the Hudson House.
A Special Response Team from the Ohio State Highway Patrol arrived on the scene around around 2 p.m. and brought with them a specialized robot. A short time later the team entered the building with the robot and reportedly staged on the fifth floor.
A female resident of the Hudson House was transported by ambulance away from the scene. Ware later confirmed the woman was the resident in the apartment that received the gunfire. She was not injured from the incident.
For about five hours, law enforcement kept the man at bay. The incident ended peacefully at approximately 4:15 p.m. when Locher was peacefully removed from the building due to the efforts of several police negotiators, including Portsmouth Police Department Detective Andy Dawes.
Early Tuesday morning, armed with the indictment warrant, Scioto County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Locher at an apartment on 16th Street in Portsmouth.
Locher, shackled and wearing jail garb, appeared with his attorney and was read his rights by Marshall. Hanes then carefully explained the charges to Locher. In addition to setting bond, Marshall explained that Locher was not to have contact with anyone at Hudson House.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.