The Columbus Dispatch

Jury finds woman guilty of shooting sheriff’s deputies

- Jordan Laird

A Franklin County jury found a woman guilty Friday of multiple felonies after prosecutor­s accused her of shooting at four sheriff ’s deputies and wounding two of them, when they tried to serve her a court order at her North Linden home in 2020.

Monica G. Justice, 56, now of Eastmoor, was convicted, after a two-week trial in Franklin County Common Pleas Court — during which she represente­d herself — and less than two hours of deliberati­ons, of four counts of felonious assault and two counts of having a weapon as a convicted felon.

The shooting on the morning of July 21, 2020, and subsequent seven-hour standoff came after a weekslong effort to evict Justice from a home on Beulah Road. The property owner secured an order from the county Probate Court to have authoritie­s take Justice for a mental health evaluation.

Acting as her own defense attorney during the trial, Justice, asked deputies at whom she shot why they assumed she was a sovereign citizen, which she says she is not, and why they didn’t use non-lethal sponge bullets after she shot at them.

Justice asked a deputy if the bullet she shot at him was analyzed for ballistic evidence, since it is still inside him in several pieces. She also repeatedly asked deputies to speculate whether she realized they were officers when they knocked on the door.

Franklin County prosecutor­s objected to this line of questionin­g as speculatio­n, and Common Pleas Judge David Young shut it down.

A jury previously convicted Justice in 2014 of assault after prosecutor­s said she attacked a Columbus police officer as he tried to arrest her on a warrant for a traffic offense.

According to testimony during this week’s trial, Monica Justice told the judge in 2014 her name was Lotus Justice and that she did not recognize the court’s authority over her — an idea frequently espoused by a sovereign citizen.

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