I-Team: Call for investigation into offer of justice for money in deadly chase case

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Five Cleveland police supervisors have pleaded not guilty to charges tied to a deadly chase, but now a defense lawyer is asking multiple state agencies for a criminal investigation of the prosecutor.

The FOX 8 I-Team revealed weeks ago East Cleveland Law Director Willa Hemmons offered to drop charges against the officers if they each paid $5,000. She called that a plea bargain. And she said it was a way for East Cleveland to recover some of the money it spent investigating the case.

But defense attorney Henry Hilow has fired off a letter to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor and others asking for an investigation into “potential criminal conduct and/or prosecutorial misconduct.” Hilow has told FOX 8 he sees the offer to drop the charges for money as extortion.

Read the letter, here.

The case goes back to a chase in 2012 from Cleveland into East Cleveland. It ended with police shooting and killing two suspects. The police supervisors are facing charges of dereliction of duty.

Defense lawyers have filed with the court to have the judge throw out the case. East Cleveland has argued to let the case play out.

The next hearing has been set for next month.

Prior to the new developments, the I-Team reached out to some of the agencies now getting the letter calling for the criminal investigation into the offer to drop the charges. Those agencies declined comment when contacted by FOX 8.

Continuing coverage, here.

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