CLEVELAND– The reason for the timing of Saturday’s verdict was released Saturday afternoon.
Judge John J. Russo, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge, released the following statement after Michael Brelo was found not guilty:
“The decision to announce the verdict in this high-profile case on a holiday weekend was not made lightly. It was done so following consultation between the Court administration, other court officials, and the local law enforcement community.
The prime consideration was to not delay the reading of the verdict any longer than necessary. While the wait was difficult for many, it was especially hard on the parties involved in the case and their families. Once Judge O’Donnell reached his verdict and finished writing his opinion, he and the Court wanted to let the parties know the decision as quickly as possible.
It was agreed that by announcing it on a Saturday morning, the potential for downtown traffic issues and the resulting impact on the community could also be lessened.
We want to thank the public, city and county officials, the media, and all those affected by this case for their assistance and patience.
The justice system is the cornerstone of American rights. On this Memorial Day Weekend, we honor and thank those who served our nation and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms and rights that we enjoy.”
After a nearly hour-long explanation, Judge John O’Donnell Saturday found Officer Michael Brelo not guilty of all counts in the 2012 deadly chase and shooting of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.