A bicyclist convicted of killing a well known immigration lawyer who confronted him right after a street rage incident downtown was sentenced Friday to 25 a long time in jail.
Theodore Edgecomb, 32, fatally shot Jason Cleereman, 54, as he walked immediately toward Edgecomb on the Holton Avenue bridge the night of Sept. 22, 2020.
Edgecomb’s January trial was carried reside nationwide on CourtTV. He claimed self-defense just two months following a jury in Kenosha acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of killing two men and women and wounding a 3rd in the course of protests in 2020, dependent on self-defense.
Times before the shooting, Edgecomb had punched Cleereman in the experience as Cleereman and his wife were stopped at a gentle in the car she was driving. Edgecomb testified the auto had struck him on his bicycle alongside Brady Street a several blocks back again, and that Cleereman yelled at him making use of a racial slur.
Following the shooting, Edgecomb fled the state and was arrested about 6 months afterwards in Kentucky.
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The defense prompt 15 several years in jail was good, but Judge David Borowski followed the state’s suggestion on jail time, introducing 12 years of extended supervision.
Borowski known as Edgecomb’s testimony at trial “not credible,” and continuously pointed out that if he had not experienced a gun — which he was not legally allowed to have — “this resolves in a fist combat.”
As he does in a lot of cases, the judge decried problems in the town. “This scenario is element of the insanity that goes in Milwaukee County with guns,” he claimed. Defendants in shootings, he reported, “have no impulse regulate.”
He agreed that, when compared to a lot of murder defendants, Edgecomb had advantages — an training, employment, stable parenting encounter and only a really nominal legal document. He was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in the earlier.
At the hearing, Cleereman’s widow and sister described the depths of their loss and discomfort, and his kind, compassionate, loving and supportive character. Evanjelina Cleereman described viewing her husband die so swiftly, that even while she was only 20 toes away, “I had no chance to say goodbye or hold him as he took his very last breath.”
Edgecomb’s mother and grandmother known as him sensible, loyal, helpful and a loving involved father. “He is not a menace to modern society,” stated his mom, Sonya Gordon.
Right before the trial, Edgecomb pleaded responsible to two counts of bail jumping, due to the fact owning the gun violated problems of launch in two pending instances. He was sentenced to an added 2½ years on these counts, to be served concurrent to the 25-calendar year term.
He had been billed with initial-degree intentional murder, which would have essential a lifetime sentence upon conviction. The jury found Edgecomb responsible of the lesser-integrated charge. Reckless homicide had been the first demand in the scenario, until prosecutors upgraded it to intentional homicide just after Edgecomb’s legal professionals stated they would argue self-protection.
Edgecomb testified he failed to signify to shoot, and that his gun “just went off” as the larger male angrily came at him and threatened to kill him.
His legal professional Aneeq Ahmad tried to characterize the incident as partly the final result of people today currently being on edge, with limited fuses, after a summer season of COVID-19 fears and 3 weeks just after two protesters were being killed in Kenosha.
Ahmad claimed Edgecomb needed people today to know he never meant to kill Cleereman, the shot was involuntary response that happened so immediately he couldn’t remember his precise steps. He repeated Edgecomb’s belief he’d have been killed or poorly damage by Cleereman if he hadn’t been armed.
Borowski mentioned several witnesses described Edgecomb raise the gun, place it at Cleereman and shoot him in the experience. He told Edgecomb he experienced “by no means proven any acceptance of accountability for your steps, none.”
The punch and taking pictures ended up recorded on law enforcement surveillance cameras and jurors viewed the interactions repeatedly during demo. Evanjelina Cleereman testified she swerved when Edgecomb darted in front of her, but denied hitting him. She also denied her husband employed any racial slurs when talking to Edgecomb.
Edgecomb testified the Cleeremans actually struck him, knocking him from his bicycle. Borowski also termed that unbelievable because the bike wasn’t damaged and Edgecomb was not hurt.
Borowski explained he felt the criminal justice process worked, even with “a good deal of sound” about the case from individuals not concerned. Proof of that achievement, he claimed, was found in the make up of the jury, with six people today of colour and six whites.
The choose explained the panel as “the most assorted jury” he is experienced for a demo.
About three months following the trial, one of Edgecomb’s lawyers questioned to withdraw from the scenario. Ahmad wrote he experienced basic strategic differences.
His co-counsel, B’Ivory LaMarr, shared time questioning witnesses, and gave the opening and closing statements. In the latter, LaMarr repeated a lot of Johnnie Cochran’s closing in the O.J. Simpson murder demo from 1995.
At a hearing April 4, Ahmad told the judge soon after speaking with Edgecomb and LaMarr some far more, he resolved to stay on the defense group for sentencing, and did all the talking Friday.
LaMarr was current, but did not address the court docket.