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Polk Deputy Cleared In Salem Shooting

SALEM — A Marion County grand jury unanimously found on Monday that Polk County Deputy Sheriff Martin Watson was justified in using deadly force in the early morning of Sept. 30.

The incident began in Polk County when Watson tried to stop a 1993 Honda for a traffic violation on Michigan City Lane near Wallace Road. A pursuit followed that went through West Salem, into downtown Salem, and eventually ended in a residential neighborhood near Walker Middle School in Northeast Salem. There, a confrontation occurred and Watson shot at the vehicle, striking it twice, according to a press release from Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

Neither Jeremy Johnson nor Timothy George, the two men arrested in connection with this case, were injured. Watson was also uninjured.

The same grand jury that found Watson’s actions to be justified also returned indictments for both Johnson and George.

Johnson, 18, was indicted for first-degree attempted assault, attempted assault on a public safety officer and unlawful use of a weapon. Timothy George, 31, was indicted for two counts of felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a methamphetamine.

Both men are currently lodged in the Marion County Jail and are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday (today) at 8:30 a.m. at 4000 Aumsville Highway.

Due to the ongoing nature of these criminal cases the District Attorney’s Office will not release any further details of the shooting or the crimes at this time.

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