Could 12 more be charged in deadly police chase?

CLEVELAND -- Could there be more defendants in the deadly 2012 police chase that left two people dead?

The defense for the officers raised that question at a scheduled pretrial today for Michael Brelo and five other officers charged in the case.

The defense cited a document that appeared briefly on a court website requesting termination of charges with the ability to refile against 12 officers.

The prosecution insisted it was the result of an "administrative error" that was the result of an internal process and said the officers were never charged.

They explained that the system was initially set up for the possibility that all 13 officers who fired their weapons could face charges.

According to prosecutors, Brelo fired 49 shots, while standing on the hood of the Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams' car. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty has said Brelo fired at least 15 of those shots after the victims' car was fully stopped and escape not possible. He was indicted on two counts of manslaughter.

The grand jury also indicted five police supervisors on misdemeanor counts of dereliction of duty for allowing the chase to grow out of control.

McGinty has said in the past his office did not recommend charges against the other 12 officers who fired shots.

Judge John P. O'Donnell didn't rule on a gag order Brelo's defense requested, instead telling the sides to negotiate an agreement between themselves.

He also instructed the state to turn over evidence in a timely manner after complaints from the defense.

Arguing it will need time to go through evidence prosecutors have had for more than a year and a half, the defense told O'Donnell it would be "not constitutional" to go to trial before the first of the year.

O'Donnell said another pretrial will be held in "about a week."


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