COLUMBUS, Ohio — A convicted felon is accused of possessing a loaded weapon during a recent protest in Columbus.
According to a complaint filed with the United States District Court, the charge was brought against 31-year-old Ronnie Murdock Jr., of Columbus.
Court records state that on June 24, an officer with the Columbus Police Emergency Operations Center was monitoring a protest in the area of Broad and Front Streets. The officer recognized Murdock and saw him holding a rifle.
Authorities say the officer knew Murdock was a convicted felon, which forbids him to own, possess or control a firearm.
Officers with the Columbus SWAT team went to the scene and arrested Murdock. They recovered a semiautomatic 2.23-caliber rifle with 31 live rounds of ammunition.
According to authorities, in October 2007, Murdock pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to attempted burglary. He also pleaded guilty to robbery in October 2016. Both offenses are felonies.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A judge will schedule a hearing for Murdock in federal court.