Man Charged With Fatally Shooting Sheriff's Deputy

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A man was charged Wednesday with aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of a Muskingum County sheriff's deputy, authorities said.

Henry Hager, 27, of Grove City, was being held in the Franklin County Jail in Columbus, Muskingum County sheriff's spokesman Dan Marks said.

Deputy Robert Tanner Jr., 39, of Zanesville, was shot to death Tuesday night. Tanner, an eight-year veteran of the department, was patrolling about 2 miles north of Zanesville when he radioed in a license plate number and said he was being flagged down, Marks said.

Tanner wasn't heard from again.

There were no witnesses and no one heard a shot, sheriff's Maj. Bryan Hoover said.

A short time later, a motorist found Tanner on the ground next to the driver's side of his cruiser, shot in the head, Hoover said.

His gun was in its holster.

Tanner was taken to Genesis Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Marks said the car whose license number Tanner was checking was spotted by authorities on state route 284 in Morgan County, south of the Muskingum County line. Three people ran from the car after being spotted.

Deputies, assisted by several law-enforcement agencies, searched the heavily wooded area and took three people into custody.

Only Hager was charged, Marks said. A handgun found in Hager's possession was being tested Wednesday to see if it had been used in the shooting, Marks said.

Tanner is the second Muskingum County deputy in eight years to be shot to death in the line of duty.

On July 12, 1994, Lt. Mike Lutz was killed while responding to a convenience-store robbery.

Tanner is survived by his wife, Jennifer. They had no children.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)