Second Passenger In Car That Hit And Killed Officer Pleads Guilty

One of the three men involved in the death of Bluffton police officer Dominic Francis in March of 2022 agreed to a plea deal with the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office.

Zachary Love changed his plea to guilty on three felony counts in the indictment and two other counts were dismissed.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, having a weapon under disability, and improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle.

He faces a maximum of 7 ½ years in prison. His sentencing hearing has been set for May 24th.

Love was a passenger in the car that struck and killed Officer Francis on I-75 in Bluffton on March 31st of 2022.

Another passenger, Dante Tate, pleaded guilty in February and was sentenced.

Court records show the man police believe was driving the car, Emin Johnson, has a trial date set for April 24th in Hancock County Common Pleas Court.

He’s facing charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and involuntary manslaughter, among others.

Authorities say the three were in a stolen car that was fleeing from police on Interstate 75 southbound around 2:30 a.m. on March 31st 2022 that struck and killed Bluffton police officer Dominic Francis, who was placing stop sticks on the highway in an effort to end the pursuit.