A bicyclist convicted of killing a well-liked immigration lawyer who confronted him right after a road rage incident downtown was sentenced Friday to 25 years in jail.
Theodore Edgecomb, 32, fatally shot Jason Cleereman, 54, as he walked quickly toward Edgecomb on the Holton Road bridge the night of Sept. 22, 2020.
Edgecomb’s January demo was carried are living nationwide on CourtTV. He claimed self-protection just two months after a jury in Kenosha acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of killing two individuals and wounding a third through protests in 2020, dependent on self-defense.
Times in advance of the shooting, Edgecomb had punched Cleereman in the encounter as Cleereman and his spouse were stopped at a light-weight in the motor vehicle she was driving. Edgecomb testified the auto had struck him on his bicycle along Brady Street a few blocks again, and that Cleereman yelled at him making use of a racial slur.
Just after the shooting, Edgecomb fled the state and was arrested about six months later on in Kentucky.
The protection instructed 15 yrs in prison was honest, but Decide David Borowski adopted the state’s suggestion on prison time, incorporating 12 decades of prolonged 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 legally authorized to have — “this resolves in a fist struggle.”
As he does in several conditions, the choose decried circumstances in the town. “This scenario is portion of the insanity that goes in Milwaukee County with guns,” he said. Defendants in shootings, he explained, “have no impulse control.”
He agreed that, compared to a lot of homicide defendants, Edgecomb had advantages — an education, work, stable parenting encounter and only a pretty nominal criminal file. He was convicted of carrying a hid weapon in the earlier.
At the hearing, Cleereman’s widow and sister explained the depths of their reduction and discomfort, and his type, compassionate, loving and supportive mother nature. Evanjelina Cleereman explained seeing her partner die so quickly, that even nevertheless she was only 20 ft absent, “I had no option to say goodbye or maintain him as he took his final breath.”
Edgecomb’s mother and grandmother named him sensible, faithful, handy and a loving involved father. “He is not a menace to modern society,” claimed his mother, Sonya Gordon.
Right before the trial, Edgecomb pleaded responsible to two counts of bail jumping, for the reason that obtaining the gun violated conditions of release in two pending circumstances. He was sentenced to an additional 2½ years on those counts, to be served concurrent to the 25-12 months term.
He experienced been charged with to start with-diploma intentional homicide, which would have expected a lifestyle sentence on conviction. The jury observed Edgecomb responsible of the lesser-bundled demand. Reckless murder experienced been the first demand in the scenario, right until prosecutors upgraded it to intentional murder right after Edgecomb’s lawyers mentioned they would argue self-defense.
Edgecomb testified he didn’t signify to shoot, and that his gun “just went off” as the greater guy angrily arrived at him and threatened to destroy him.
His attorney Aneeq Ahmad tried using to characterize the incident as partly the final result of people staying on edge, with shorter fuses, after a summertime of COVID-19 fears and three months just after two protesters had been killed in Kenosha.
Ahmad claimed Edgecomb wished people today to know he never ever intended to destroy Cleereman, the shot was involuntary response that happened so speedily he could not remember his particular steps. He repeated Edgecomb’s perception he’d have been killed or terribly harm by Cleereman if he hadn’t been armed.
Borowski pointed out many witnesses described Edgecomb elevate the gun, point it at Cleereman and shoot him in the encounter. He advised Edgecomb he had “never ever proven any acceptance of duty for your actions, none.”
The punch and capturing were being recorded on law enforcement surveillance cameras and jurors viewed the interactions frequently during demo. Evanjelina Cleereman testified she swerved when Edgecomb darted in entrance of her, but denied hitting him. She also denied her spouse employed any racial slurs when speaking to Edgecomb.
Edgecomb testified the Cleeremans basically struck him, knocking him from his bike. Borowski also referred to as that unbelievable simply because the bicycle wasn’t destroyed and Edgecomb was not hurt.
Borowski said he felt the prison justice process worked, inspite of “a large amount of sound” about the circumstance from individuals not concerned. Evidence of that achievements, he mentioned, was noticed in the make up of the jury, with six persons of coloration and six whites.
The choose described the panel as “the most assorted jury” he’s experienced for a demo.
About 3 months immediately after the demo, a person of Edgecomb’s lawyers questioned to withdraw from the situation. Ahmad wrote he had elementary strategic discrepancies.
His co-counsel, B’Ivory LaMarr, shared time questioning witnesses, and gave the opening and closing statements. In the latter, LaMarr repeated much of Johnnie Cochran’s closing in the O.J. Simpson murder demo from 1995.
At a hearing April 4, Ahmad told the judge immediately after speaking with Edgecomb and LaMarr some additional, he made a decision to remain on the defense workforce for sentencing, and did all the talking Friday.
LaMarr was present, but did not tackle the court.