Reserve Deputy John R. Litch, Jr.

Reserve Deputy John R. Litch, Jr.

Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, October 22, 1981

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John R. Litch, Jr.

Reserve Deputy Litch was shot and killed when he was ambushed by the half-brother of a prisoner he was returning from the hospital to the Mahoning County Jail.

The suspect rammed his car into the back of Deputy Litch's car. When Deputy Litch got out to investigate the suspect shot him with a sawed-off shotgun. Both men escaped but were apprehended two days later.

The 19 year-old suspect was originally sentenced to death but the sentence was overturned and he was then sentenced to life in prison. He was denied parole in January of 2014. His next parole hearing is November, 2023. The suspect's half-brother was also convicted of charges related to the incident and a unrelated murder charge. He died in prison on May 6, 2007.

Reserve Deputy Litch was also a captain with the Campbell Fire Department. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Reserve Deputy John R. Litch, Jr. of the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, Ohio and the additional 61 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

October 22, 2018

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