Testimony in the trial of
Officer Michael Brelo is moving at a snail's pace because of the large amount of highly technical nature that is coming out, including forensic measurements, how they were taken, and their reliability.Day three began Wednesday with a
agent on the stand.
Agent Daniel Winterich described how investigators reconstructed the crime scene and collected evidence at the Heritage Middle School parking lot. That is where the November 2012 chase with Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell ended. It is where Cleveland officers fired 137 shots at the pair.
Officer Brelo fired 49 of those shots, reloading his weapon twice, leaving only two rounds.
Defense attorneys did most of the questioning.
"There is no suggestion or idea that the scene at the time of this incident was actually lit like it is in 164," asked defense attorney Patrick D'Angelo.
"No," answered Winterich.
Agent Winterich also told the court how no gun or bullet casings were found in the car where Williams and Russell were shot to death.
The crime scene photos displayed at trial were crystal clear, the best view yet of the parking lot of Heritage Middle School. But defense attorneys made the point that the photos were misleading, as it was much darker and far noisier when the actual confrontation with police occurred.
Even prosecutors had to admit that when they reconstructed the scene more than a year after the shooting, the car Williams and Russell were in had been compromised.
Because it had been left out in the snow, the windshield had largely collapsed, making it impossible to confirm the accuracy of crime lab computations of the trajectory angles of the 58 bullets that penetrated the windshield.
"In spite of your request that it be placed inside, it was full of snow correct?" asked defense attorney Patrick D'Angelo.
"That is true," answered Winterich.
"So either they had a bad roof or they didn't listen to you right?" asked D'Angelo.
"Correct," answered Winterich.
Also entered into evidence today was a shoe print taken from the shoes Officer Brelo was wearing the night of the shooting.
"We use magnetic powder over the impression on the folder and then we allow it to dry," testified BCI Special Agent Brenda McNeely.
Prosecutors want to compare it to prints on cars involved in the shooting to prove Brelo was on the car's hood.
Also of note on Wednesday, there was much heated debate when Cleveland Police Officer Michael Demchak took the stand and pleaded the
Judge John O'Donnell allowed the move.