2012 Deadly Shooting: CPD Officer Brelo back in court ahead of t - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

2012 Deadly Shooting: CPD Officer Brelo back in court ahead of trial date

Officer Michael Brelo in court. (Source: WOIO) Officer Michael Brelo in court. (Source: WOIO)
One of the Cleveland officers facing charges in connection with the November 2012 deadly shooting and chase appeared in court Monday. 

Police Officer Michael Brelo is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, after a long police chase in which officers fired 137 shots.

Monday's hearing for Officer Brelo was not really about the facts of the case, but a lot about distrust and dislike between the teams of lawyers.

Prosecutors want defense attorney Patrick DeAngelo removed from representing Officer Brelo. They say that DeAngelo could be ineffective counsel because he has represented several other officers involved in the shooting who will be witnesses in this case. As counsel to those officers, DeAngelo would not be able to question them about confidential information.

Prosecutors say it opens up the chance of an appeal.

DeAngelo disagrees, and Officer Brelo told Judge John O'Donnell that he wants DeAngelo to stay.

"Do you understand you are giving up that possibility should you be found guilty?" asked Judge O'Donnell.

"Yes, I absolutely do understand that sir," answered Officer Brelo.

Prosecutors also suggest that a "blue wall of silence" has been built, and that officers could withhold some of what they saw.

The idea upsets CPPA President Steve Loomis, who said , "It's offensive and desperate, we've completely cooperated from day one of this investigation."

Loomis believes prosecutors are showboating, hurting Officer Brelo's chances of a fair trial.

Potential jurors already know that 90 officers were put up on charges, and the city paid a huge civil claim. Coverage of allegations that prosecutors made Monday only adds to Loomis' belief.

A hearing in March will deal with what evidence each side wants excluded and will likely involve more fireworks.

The trial is set for April 6. The judge will rule on Monday's arguments sometime before that.

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