Tue. 10:45 a.m.: Former Warren officer sentenced to 9 months in prison
WARREN — A former city police officer who made up a story accusing a black man of shooting at him as he stopped to provide off-duty assistance to the driver of a broken-down vehicle was sentenced this morning to nine month behind bars.
Noah M. Linnen faced up to six years in prison after pleading guilty Oct. 27 before Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Linnen to tampering with evidence, inducing panic and disrupting public services, according to county Assistant Prosecutor Michael Burnett.
Before sentencing Linnen expressed remorse, calling his actions a breakdown. He told the judge that he embarrassed himself an his family and that he regrets any pain that he may have caused to the African-American community.
The former police officer on Jan. 13, 2020, called Trumbull County 911 saying he’d exchanged fire with an unknown black man.
Because of the emergency call, officers from multiple departments, including Howland, Warren and Niles, conducted road blocks and searches. Several black men temporarily were stopped and questioned as officers attempted to find the alleged shooter.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation led the investigation, and the Howland department was involved because the incident occurred in the township. The Warren Police Department conducted its own internal investigation, per its use-of-force policy.
Burnett said during the investigation, Linnen changed his story several times and finally admitted he made up the story to cover an accidental discharge of his duty weapon.
In Linnen’s termination letter, police Chief Eric Merkel wrote Linnen confessed to Howland police his original claim was fabricated and the scene was staged to mimic an armed robbery attempt and shooting.
Read more on this story in Wednesday’s print an digital editions of the newspaper.