CLEVELAND – A Cleveland police officer's trial in the deaths of two unarmed suspects who were killed in a salvo of 137 shots that were fired is scheduled to begin.
Thirty-one-year-old Michael Brelo is charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of 43-year-old Timothy Russell and 30-year-old Malissa Williams after a high-speed chase in November 2012. A judge — not a jury — will decide the case. Brelo faces a maximum sentence of 25 years if convicted.
Thirteen officers fired at the suspects' car that night but only Brelo was charged criminally because prosecutors said he fired his final 15 rounds after the suspects were no longer a threat.
Brelo's attorneys have argued that all 49 shots Brelo fired that night were lawful.
The trial begins Monday.