A bicyclist convicted of killing a well-liked immigration lawyer who confronted him after a road rage incident downtown was sentenced Friday to 25 several years in prison.
Theodore Edgecomb, 32, fatally shot Jason Cleereman, 54, as he walked rapidly toward Edgecomb on the Holton Road bridge the night time of Sept. 22, 2020.
Edgecomb’s January trial was carried stay nationwide on CourtTV. He claimed self-defense just two months just after a jury in Kenosha acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of killing two people and wounding a third throughout protests in 2020, based mostly on self-defense.
Times prior to the shooting, Edgecomb had punched Cleereman in the facial area as Cleereman and his wife have been stopped at a light in the motor vehicle she was driving. Edgecomb testified the car had struck him on his bike together Brady Street a few blocks again, and that Cleereman yelled at him working with a racial slur.
Right after the shooting, Edgecomb fled the point out and was arrested about six months later in Kentucky.
The defense suggested 15 several years in jail was reasonable, but Choose David Borowski adopted the state’s recommendation on prison time, introducing 12 a long time of extended supervision.
Borowski named Edgecomb’s testimony at demo “not credible,” and consistently pointed out that if he had not experienced a gun — which he was not lawfully allowed to have — “this resolves in a fist battle.”
As he does in many cases, the decide decried disorders in the city. “This situation is aspect of the madness that goes in Milwaukee County with guns,” he explained. Defendants in shootings, he reported, “have no impulse management.”
He agreed that, in comparison to quite a few murder defendants, Edgecomb had advantages — an education and learning, employment, good parenting working experience and only a quite negligible felony document. He was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in the previous.
At the hearing, Cleereman’s widow and sister described the depths of their reduction and suffering, and his kind, compassionate, loving and supportive mother nature. Evanjelina Cleereman described viewing her spouse die so swiftly, that even while she was only 20 ft away, “I had no chance to say goodbye or hold him as he took his previous breath.”
Edgecomb’s mother and grandmother referred to as him clever, loyal, practical and a loving involved father. “He’s not a menace to culture,” explained his mother, Sonya Gordon.
In advance of the demo, Edgecomb pleaded guilty to two counts of bail jumping, simply because getting the gun violated conditions of release in two pending instances. He was sentenced to an extra 2½ years on people counts, to be served concurrent to the 25-12 months phrase.
He had been billed with to start with-degree intentional homicide, which would have demanded a lifetime sentence on conviction. The jury discovered Edgecomb guilty of the lesser-bundled cost. Reckless murder experienced been the authentic charge in the situation, until prosecutors upgraded it to intentional homicide soon after Edgecomb’s legal professionals claimed they would argue self-defense.
Edgecomb testified he failed to necessarily mean to shoot, and that his gun “just went off” as the greater guy angrily came at him and threatened to get rid of him.
His attorney Aneeq Ahmad tried to characterize the incident as partly the final result of men and women currently being on edge, with quick fuses, soon after a summer season of COVID-19 fears and a few months following two protesters had been killed in Kenosha.
Ahmad claimed Edgecomb wanted folks to know he under no circumstances intended to eliminate Cleereman, the shot was involuntary reaction that occurred so promptly he could not remember his precise steps. He recurring Edgecomb’s perception he’d have been killed or badly harm by Cleereman if he hadn’t been armed.
Borowski mentioned several witnesses explained Edgecomb elevate the gun, position it at Cleereman and shoot him in the face. He explained to Edgecomb he had “hardly ever shown any acceptance of obligation for your steps, none.”
The punch and taking pictures have been recorded on police surveillance cameras and jurors watched the interactions repeatedly all through trial. Evanjelina Cleereman testified she swerved when Edgecomb darted in front of her, but denied hitting him. She also denied her partner utilized any racial slurs when speaking to Edgecomb.
Edgecomb testified the Cleeremans truly struck him, knocking him from his bicycle. Borowski also identified as that unbelievable due to the fact the bike was not broken and Edgecomb was not wounded.
Borowski mentioned he felt the felony justice program worked, regardless of “a great deal of sound” about the case from folks not included. Evidence of that success, he mentioned, was noticed in the make up of the jury, with 6 people today of coloration and six whites.
The decide described the panel as “the most numerous jury” he is experienced for a trial.
About three weeks soon after the demo, one particular of Edgecomb’s lawyers requested to withdraw from the circumstance. Ahmad wrote he experienced elementary strategic differences.
His co-counsel, B’Ivory LaMarr, shared time questioning witnesses, and gave the opening and closing statements. In the latter, LaMarr repeated significantly of Johnnie Cochran’s closing in the O.J. Simpson murder demo from 1995.
At a listening to April 4, Ahmad instructed the choose soon after speaking with Edgecomb and LaMarr some more, he determined to remain on the defense group for sentencing, and did all the speaking Friday.
LaMarr was existing, but did not tackle the court docket.