** See prior coverage in the player above.
The man’s brother and codefendant, the alleged gunman charged with aggravated murder, was ruled by a court last week to be incompetent to stand trial, court records show.
Luis A. Candelario, 31, of Cleveland, initially faced two counts of complicity to aggravated murder in the shootings outside Rookies Sports Bar & Grill along Pearl Road. Police said he drove his brother, Juan. C. Perez, 29, of Cleveland, from the scene after Perez fatally shot a man in the bar’s parking lot, then a security guard, in the early morning of March 13, 2021.
Candelario pleaded guilty in August to a count of involuntary manslaughter, court records show. On Tuesday, he was handed an 11-year sentence on that charge, as well as an additional one-year sentence for the .380-caliber firearm used in the crime, which has been seized, records show. He’ll be also be put on probation for five years after release.
Prosecutors dropped his four other charges, including a second count of involuntary manslaughter and counts of obstructing justice, tampering with evidence and improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle.
The two killed were bar patron Sean Michael Acierno, 29, of Parma, and 27-year-old Timoteo “Tim” Cruz of Cleveland, a Cuyahoga County corrections officer who was working as a security guard that night and reportedly fired at Perez, injuring him as he escaped.
“Due to Cruz’s heroic actions, he most likely saved additional lives while giving up his own life as other bar patrons were still in the area or exiting the bar,” reads a March 2021 statement from Parma police.
Perez, the alleged triggerman, still faces two counts of aggravated murder and several other violent or gun-related felonies.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula on Oct. 6 ruled he was incompetent to stand trial, court records show. However, he may yet regain competency before trial through treatment, the judge ruled.
Perez was ordered to undergo inpatient treatment at Twin Valley Behavioral Health Care’s maximum security campus — including “long-acting injectable anti-psychotic medication” — under the supervision of court officials.