A 44-year-old man was charged with aggravated murder Sept. 13 after law enforcement officials said he intentionally crashed a pickup truck into a Canal Winchester medical center, killing one longtime employee and injuring another person, the Fairfield County sheriff's office said.
Raymond G. Leiendecker of Baltimore in Fairfield County had undergone a psychological evaluation at Diley Ridge Medical Center, 7911 Diley Road, shortly before driving the truck into the emergency department entrance about 9:45 a.m.
Scott Davis, 61, of Canal Winchester, who identified himself as a respiratory therapist at the medical center on social media, was transported to Mount Carmel East Hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.
Cindy L. Fritz, 58, of Carroll was transported to Mount Carmel East in non life-threatening condition, according to the sheriff's office.
Leiendecker also was injured and was treated at an unidentified hospital, Fairfield County Chief Deputy Alex Lape said. Leiendecker is scheduled to appear at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, for a preliminary hearing before Fairfield County Judge Jillian Boone.
County Sheriff Dave Phalen said Leiendecker was upset after the evaluation Sept. 13. He left the medical center, got into his truck and drove straight toward the hospital emergency department entrance. He said there was no sign Leiendecker applied brakes before plowing into the building.
The victims were in the area of the front desk when the truck slammed through the entrance, Phalen said.
Mount Carmel Health System declined to identify Smith or Fritz or say whether they worked at Diley "out of respect for our colleagues and their privacy," a spokeswoman told The Columbus Dispatch on Sept. 13.
Court records show Leiendecker is being held on $5 million cash bond in connection with the aggravated murder charge.
Prosecutors requested the amount, citing the nature of the crime, the suspect's prior criminal convictions for aggravated robbery and felony assault, as well as possible mental-health issues and Leiendecker's reported homelessness.
Prosecutors also noted in the filing that the death penalty could be considered in the case. Other charges also are expected to be filed.
Leiendecker has an extensive criminal record, including an incident one year ago in which he was involved in a standoff with officers from multiple departments after threatening to drive a pickup truck off a bridge in the area of Blacklick-Eastern Road and Poplar Creek Road in Fairfield County.
According to court records, a roadway was closed and officers from the Fairfield County sheriff's office, the state Highway Patrol and police departments from Baltimore and Pickerington were involved in the standoff that began late at night Sept. 3, 2018, and didn't end until tear gas was used to force Leiendecker from the truck. Based on the description in court records, it was a different truck than the one Leiendecker was driving in Friday's incident.
Leiendecker told a deputy during the 2018 standoff that his son had died on the bridge "and it should have been me," the deputy wrote in his report. A relative later confirmed for officers that Leiendecker's son died on the bridge in 1995, he wrote.
Leiendecker was charged in Fairfield County Municipal Court with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, inducing panic and failure to comply with an officer.
His attorney filed a not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity plea in a motion that expressed concern that Leiendecker "suffers from a major mental illness/mental handicap." After he received a psychological evaluation and was found competent to stand trial, he pleaded guilty in November to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
The Sept. 13 crash caused substantial structural damage to the emergency department at Diley Ridge. The entire center was initially closed, but has since reopened except for the emergency department. Hospital officials said Sept. 17 emergency medical services vehicles are being diverted from the ERA to other medical facilities while damage assessment continues.
Several patients in the emergency department when the crash occurred were transferred to Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital.
Diley Ridge Medical Center is an affiliate of the Mount Carmel Health System and Fairfield Medical Center. The medical complex includes a community hospital and inpatient unit, emergency and diagnostic services and an attached medical office building.