Shooter of Dayton police detective could face death penalty

Charges upgraded for suspects tied to murder of Dayton officer

DAYTON (FOX19) - The suspect charged with shooting a Dayton police detective faces a possible death sentence now that the officer has died.

Nathan S. Goddard, Jr., 39, is charged with intentionally killing a law enforcement officer aiding a federal criminal investigation and causing death through the use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Southern Ohio announced.

The new charges are punishable by imprisonment up to life and by death.

Detective Jorge Del Rio, 55, died Thursday, three days after he was shot twice in the face allegedly by Goddard while a task force served a search warrant at a Dayton home.

Goddard also is charged with assaulting a federal law enforcement officer using a deadly or dangerous weapon and conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, and marijuana, according to a news release.

Two others, Cahke Cortner, 39, and Lionel Combs III, 40, have also been charged in amended complaints.

Both are charged with causing death through use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime or crime of violence, punishable by imprisonment up to life and by death, and with the drug conspiracy.

Federal authorities said they want all of the suspects to continue to be detained pending trial.

Each of the three men appeared at a detention hearing Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington in federal court in Dayton.

The judge ruled all three are to be held without bond until their trials begin.

Between mid-July and late-October 2019, the DEA’s Dayton resident office conducted an investigation into a Dayton-based fentanyl operation, the news release states.

Goddard was named as an alleged source of supply of narcotics, and a federal search warrant was subsequently authorized for a house on Ruskin Road.

About 6:50 p.m. Monday, DEA agents and Dayton police officers arrived to search it.

After announcing themselves, officers entered the home, and a task force officer descended the stairway to the basement of the residence, the news release states.

The officer immediately came under gunfire from the basement and was struck twice in the face.

Del Rio was gravely wounded.

Fellow officers loaded him into a cruiser and took him to the nearest hospital, Grandview Medical Center.

He remained on “advanced life support” three days and was pronounced dead Thursday, leaving behind a wife, five daughters, three granddaughters and another grandchild on the way.

Fundraising underway for family of Dayton detective killed in line of duty

In the residence, authorities discovered three firearms and about 9 kilograms of fentanyl and cocaine were located in a duffel bag, federal officials have said.

Containers containing 50 to 60 pounds of marijuana were discovered in the basement, according to the news release.

About $11,000 in cash was spread out on a coffee table, and more than $40,000 in cash was located in a duffel bag in a storage area under the stairs.

The drug conspiracy charged against each of the defendants is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.

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