Edgecomb trial: Eyewitnesses testify shooter was chased by victim, who was unarmed

Edgecomb trial: Eyewitnesses testify shooter was chased by victim, who was unarmed

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Friday marked day three of the Theodore Edgecomb trial.

The state is in the middle of making its case against the man accused of killing Milwaukee attorney Jason Cleereman in a road rage incident.

It happened in 2020, and Edgecomb claims it was self-defense.

Thursday, the state called three eyewitnesses to the shooting to the stand. They all seem to agree they saw the Cleereman car follow or chase Edgecomb, before Cleereman gets out of the car and Edgecomb shoots him.

"The guy [Edgecomb] was pretty much forced off the street by the car, cause he fell off his bike trying to get up the curb," Rodtrell Cameron, an eyewitness, testified. "He [Edgecomb] proceeded to run toward the stairs, and that's when the guy in the passenger seat [Cleereman] gets out the car and proceeded to run after the guy. He then pulls the gun, and then shoots the guy in the head."

The state, using eyewitness testimony to prove Jason Cleereman was unarmed when he was shot.

"Do you ever see anything in the passenger's hands?" Prosecutor Grant Huebner asked.

"No, I did not," responded Jose Perez, an eyewitness.

"Besides the firearm you saw the shooter use, did you see any other weapons in anyone's hands?" Huebner asked another witness.

"No," the witness responded.

Milwaukee Police Detective Alexander Klabunde testified a knife was in Cleereman's pocket when they arrived on scene.

"It was completely concealed, completely within the pocket," Det. Klabunde testified. "I observed the medical examiner's investigator have to reach her hand all the way into the pocket and pull it out of it."

But the defense believes the knife, found in Cleereman's pocket, was out at the time of the shooting. Witnesses testified Cleereman's back was to them and it was dark.

"Can you tell if I have an object in my hand or not?" defense attorney B'Ivory LaMarr asked eyewitness Rodtrell Cameron, while turning his back to him.

"No," Cameron responded.

"Does this appear to be the position Mr. Cleereman was in?" LaMarr asked.

"Yes," Cameron responded.

The defense hinted that Cleereman's wife may have moved the knife after the shooting, citing a video which shows her walk to Cleereman's body and back to the car.

"You weren't present for this, you don’t know what Mrs. Cleereman did, do you?" LaMarr asked.

"No," Cameron responded.

Cameron told the jury he encountered Mrs. Cleereman as he called 911. He said she was surprisingly calm and not crying.

"She was on the phone, and she asked me did I call the police," Cameron testified. "I said I did. But whomever she was on the phone with, she proceeded with her conversation. I think it was some relation with the guy, because she said 'your brother is dead.'"

So far, the state has called nine witnesses.

The day ended with the medical examiner testifying about Cleereman's injuries.

He testified that Edgecomb was within four feet when he shot Cleereman.

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