Edgecomb trial: Witness says wife went through Cleereman's pockets after shooting

Edgecomb trial: Witness says wife went through Cleereman’s pockets after shooting

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- The Theodore Edgecomb trial is in its second week and the defense is presenting its case.

Edgecomb is accused of killing Milwaukee attorney Jason Cleereman in a road rage incident in 2020.

After calling 19 witnesses, the state rested Monday morning.

The defense began its case by calling three police officers, questioning them about how the investigation was conducted. The judge, too frustrated with the repetitive questions.

"The jury gets the point," Judge David Borowski said. "It's time to move on. We're going to move on."

After the officers' testimony, the defense called Stephanie Trotter to the stand. Trotter and her husband were driving down Holton just after the shooting and saw Evanjelina Cleereman, the victim's wife, in distress. Video shows the Trotters' SUV pull up behind the Cleereman car.

"I could remember asking her, 'did you call 911'? She said no, so I began to call 911. She stayed on the phone," Trotter said.

Trotter told the jury Evanjelina was on the phone with someone else at the time.

Trotter then describes what happened next

"After the 911 call ended, she kneeled down toward her husband and was trying to go through his pocket, his right pocket, and I said 'you probably shouldn't do that,'" Trotter said.

Throughout the trial, the defense has hinted that Jason Cleereman had a knife out at the time he was shot and Evanjelina may have put it in his pocket before police arrived.

Detectives testified the knife was found folded in Cleereman's pocket. On cross examination, prosecutor Grant Huebner clarified that Trotter never saw a knife, or anything for that matter.

"You never actually saw an object go in or out of his pockets?" Huebner asked Trotter.

"No, I did not," Trotter responded.

The defense plans to call a few more witnesses on Tuesday, including Dr. John Black, a video expert who testified in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. However on Monday, the judge ruled the defense cannot show zoomed in, slow motion video of the shooting, which Dr. Black prepared. The defense only notified the state about the plan to introduce the video over the weekend, which Judge Borowski said is too late.

The defense also plans to call Edgecomb to the stand on Tuesday. The jury is likely to get the case Wednesday.

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