Indianapolis, IN – Prosecutors have agreed to take the death penalty off the table for accused Indiana cop-killer Jason D. Brown in exchange for agreeing to have his case heard before a judge instead of a jury.
Southport Police Lieutenant Aaron Allan was fatally shot when he responded to a single-vehicle wreck at about 2:30 p.m. on July 27, 2017, according to ODMP.
Witnesses said the car was travelling at “a high rate of speed, went airborne, then upside down and landed in the yard,” WTHR reported.
Lt. Allan and a Homecroft police officer were the first to arrive on the scene and they rushed to free the people who were caught inside an overturned vehicle.
The lieutenant crawled into the car and checked the condition of the driver first, WRTV reported.
The driver – Brown – was hanging by his seatbelt and acting panicked.
Police said Brown was “hung up in the seat belt and was kind of wedged in,” according to WTHR.
Lt. Allan told Brown to calm down and crawled further into the vehicle to assist a passenger.
Police said that was when Brown pulled out a gun and starting shooting at Lt. Allan at close range, WRTV reported.
Witnesses said Brown continued firing even as the wounded lieutenant tried to crawl away to safety, WTHR reported.
Lt. Allan, 38, was shot 14 times.
The Homecroft officer and an off-duty reserve deputy from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office returned fire and shot Brown, according to ODMP.
The wounded lieutenant was transported to Eskenazi Hospital where he died of his numerous gunshot wounds, ODMP reported.
Lt. Allan was a six-year veteran of the Southport Police Department and a 20-year veteran of law enforcement, as well as a husband and father.
Brown was transported to the hospital, treated for his gunshot wounds, and survived, WTHR reported.
He was charged with Lt. Allan’s murder.
Former Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry vowed to seek the death penalty against Brown soon after he fatally shot the lieutenant in September 2017, two months after Allan was killed, WIBC reported.
But now the case has been pending for four-and-a-half years, and attorneys for both sides have said they are eager to get it resolved as quickly as possible.
Defense attorney Denise Turner said that not having a jury would probably knock off three-to-four weeks off of the time it would take to conduct the trial.
Turner also said that having a bench trial eliminated any concerns about a mistrial, WIBC reported.
Marion Superior Judge Mark Stoner granted Brown’s request for a jury trial waiver last week, The Washington Post reported.
Brown is facing 45 years-to-life in prison if he is convicted of Lt. Allan’s murder.
The murder trial is scheduled to begin in February, The Washington Post reported.