Defense witness in Brelo trial offers alternative scenario

Defense witness in Brelo trial offers alternative scenario

There are many ways to translate scientific data, and in court cases it always boils down to what the prosecution thinks it proves and what the defense thinks it proves.

The data analyzed Tuesday by defense expert Lance Martini was bullet trajectory.

"No specific area of origin, shooter location is determined for gunshot locations one and two, the head shots to the driver," said Martini.

There is no doubt that Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo fired 49 shots at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in November 2012.

Many of those shots were from the trunk and hood of a police car and then the hood of the Chevy Malibu that Russell and Williams were killed in.

But did Officer Brelo's shots kill the two?

Martini told the court that fatal shots were fired from several officers. He used a trajectory rod to show that firing close to the car would give an officer standing on the ground an elevated angle, one that lined up with Timothy Russell's head.

"These bullets would have entered the Malibu through one of the passenger side window areas or the rear window and would have been fired from a ground level location," Martini testified.

Martini also had a different analysis of wounds to the bodies of Russell and Williams, demonstrating again with rods how not all the fatal wounds came at steep angles from above.

Martini said the three shots or echoes heard while Brelo was firing from the hood of the Malibu but were not fired by Brelo could have moved Brelo to keep firing if the bullets hit the car windshield.

"The glass spray could easily have been interpreted as resulting from outward traveling shots fired from within the Malibu," Martini testified.

The defense case is winding down.

There will be only afternoon testimony on Wednesday and things should wrap up Friday with closing arguments likely Monday or Tuesday.

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