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Daughter of Cleveland firefighter Johnny Tetrick speaks in court during suspect’s arraignment in deadly hit-and-run incident

Leander Bissell is accused of leaving the scene where Tetrick was struck on I-90 East near MLK.

CLEVELAND — 40-year-old Leander Bissell, the man accused in the deadly hit-and-run that claimed the life of Cleveland firefighter Johnny Tetrick, was in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court for arraignment Wednesday morning.

During the brief court hearing, a judge set bond at the recommended amount of $500,000 after a public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The case was also assigned to Judge Tim McCormick with a pretrial hearing set for Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m.

Before the judge announced the bond, Tetrick's daughter, Falon, was in the courtroom where she requested a higher amount.

"I would like to ask for the court for a $1 million bond based on Mr. Bissell’s prior records," she said. "The fact that he fled the scene, he was inebriated and he killed my father."

You can watch the full arraignment hearing in the video below:

This arraignment hearing comes after the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office announced Bissell had been indicted on additional charges in the case. The charges against Bissell include:

  • One count of murder
  • Two counts of felonious assault
  • One count of involuntary manslaughter
  • One count of aggravated vehicular homicide
  • One count of failure to stop after accident
  • One count of failure to comply

“For over 20 years, Cleveland Firefighter Tetrick served the citizens of Cleveland. Firefighter Tetrick’s death is a heartbreaking tragedy that could have been avoided if Leander Bissell made better choices that day,” O’Malley said in a statement Monday. “My thoughts remain with Firefighter Tetrick’s family, friends, and fellow firefighters during this truly devastating time.”

Bissell is accused of leaving the scene where Tetrick was struck along I-90 East near MLK on Nov. 19 as he worked to clear debris off the roadway following a crash. Tetrick died at the hospital.

Police say they later found a vehicle matching the description involved in the incident and identified its owner as Bissell. A police report indicates an officer determined that Bissell "was intoxicated due to a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person, as well as bloodshot eyes and slurred speech."

Tetrick's funeral services were held last week -- including a ceremony at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Tetrick is survived by his wife and three children.

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