Guilty plea to 2 counts in Ohio Batman movie case

Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man arrested with a loaded gun, ammunition and knives at a showing of the latest Batman movie pleaded guilty to two weapons counts on Monday but still faces trial on a third count.

Scott A. Smith, 38, of North Ridgeville, entered the pleas in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to two counts of carrying a concealed weapon. He still faces trial Wednesday on a charge of having a weapon under disability, which prosecutors say is drug dependency.

Smith was arrested at an Aug. 4 showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Westlake. His attorney said earlier that Smith had the weapons for protection in case someone tried to copy the Colorado theater shooting that left 12 dead three weeks earlier.

John Hildebrand, who represents Smith, said Monday that his client pleaded guilty to the two counts in light of evidence that Smith had brought weapons to the theater. There was no plea deal, Hildebrand said.

Smith will contest the weapon under disability charge, Hildebrand said.

Hildebrand declined to comment on the overall case until after the trial on the third count.

The theater manager first noticed Smith and a beige bag he carried over his shoulder, police said. When approached, Smith told the manager the bag contained medical supplies. He then showed the manager a portion of the bag that didn’t reveal the weapons.

An off-duty Westlake police officer also noticed Smith and his bag. After checking with the manager, the officer followed Smith into the empty theater. The officer said Smith consented to a search inside the theater.