I-team: Prosecutor’s office releases costs in investigation, trial of Officer Michael Brelo

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has released figures for what it cost to pursue charges against Cleveland Officer Michael Brelo.

Brelo was found not guilty last month after a lengthy trial and investigation into a massive car chase in 2012 that ended with 13 officers firing 137 shots. Killed were two unarmed suspects, Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell.

Brelo had been charged with voluntary manslaughter in their deaths.

The prosecutor’s office says it spent $144, 884.48 for “post-indictment investigative cost, expert witness fees and travel expenses.” Additionally, another $5,582.68 went for “trial presentation supplies.”

That does not include the cost of the work done by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation looking into the case.

Also, Joe Frolik, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, says there’s no way to add up the costs for personnel such as attorneys from the prosecutor’s office since employees are on salary, and if they hadn’t been working on this case, they would have made the same amount of money working on other cases for the office.

Frolik said a model of the final crime scene was built by the FBI. Most of the prosecutor’s trial presentation supply costs went for blow-ups of photographs used as exhibits.

The prosecutor’s office adds expert expenses reported by the defense team as of early January topped $134,000.

Continuing coverage here.