CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty has filed an appeal in the trial of Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo.
McGinty is challenging the legal analysis of the verdict, citing:
- The trial court used the wrong standard on causation in announcing its verdict. Under established Ohio law, the State did not have to prove that shots fired by Officer Brelo were solely responsible for the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
- The trial court incorrectly applied the law regarding the affirmative defense of justification when police officers use deadly force. Police officers who recklessly expose themselves to danger, violate training and kill civilians violate the Fourth Amendment and should be held criminally liable.
- The trial court's verdict considered the wrong lesser included offense to the indicted charge of Voluntary Manslaughter. The court should have considered Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter and Aggravated Assault if it chose to acquit the defendant on Voluntary Manslaughter. Felonious Assault, the alternative the court said was considered, is not a lesser included offense of Voluntary Manslaughter.
Legal experts tell WKYC Channel 3 that, even if granted the decision of Judge John O'Donnell is final and can not be overturned, Brelo, 31, can not be retried.
Those experts add, the goal of the 31-page appeal is to challenge the legal rational the judge used for part of the decision and to assure he does not use the same rational in future cases.
Brelo was charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the Nov. 29, 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30. On May 23, Judge O'Donnell found Brelo not guilty.
Read the full appeal below:
MOBILE USERS, read the full appeal HERE: http://bit.ly/1LOPbHF