He has pled not guilty even though he fired 49 shots into the car, with the last 15 unloaded while standing on the hood of Russell’s car, according to records filed by prosecutors. The records indicate that Brelo unleashed them four seconds after other officers had stopped firing.
Five supervisors – sergeants Randolph Dailey, Patricia Coleman, Jason Edens, Michael Donegan and Lt. Paul Wilson – were charged with dereliction of duty for their role in a chase that involved 62 police cars and more than 100 officers. The supervisors have pleaded not guilty.
1. A judge — not a jury — will decide whether Brelo is guilty
A judge — not a jury — will decide whether Brelo is guilty or innocent. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years if convicted.
Brelo’s defense team has argued that all 49 rounds Brelo fired that night, including the last 15, were lawful and that the threat didn’t end until Brelo reached into the Malibu and removed the keys, preventing the suspects from using the car as a weapon. Russell and Williams were each shot mo
The incident helped spur a U.S. Justice Department probe that concluded Cleveland police officers have shown a pattern and practice of using excessive force. The city and federal authorities are negotiating a consent decree to reform the police department that will cost the city millions of dollars to implement and enforce. Cleveland has already paid $3 million to the families of Russell and Williams to settle a lawsuit.
3. Timothy Russell’s sister, Michelle Russell testifies
Timothy Russell’s sister, Michelle Russell, also testified on Tuesday. She described her brother as happy, funny and a hard worker, adding she didn’t know him to carry a weapon. According to Michelle Russell, Timothy fled from police once before and crashed his car. While at a nursing home recovering, Timothy Russell met Williams.
5. Cleveland police supervisors testify… kind of.
On Monday, prosecutors called five Cleveland police supervisors to the stand and they all took the Fifth Amendment. They are codefedants in the case and are charged with dereliction of duty.
Other members of the Cleveland Division of Police, including Det. Roland Mitchell, did testify. He told the judge he was involved in parts of the chase in an unmarked car, but did not see the shooting.