In 2017, Jason Brown shot and killed Southport Lieutenant Aaron Allan after crashing his car on the south side of Indianapolis. Brown was subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison. However, Brown’s defense attorney, Ann Sutton, believes that the conviction should be reduced to voluntary manslaughter and is appealing the case on the grounds that urine analysis results were improperly used against Brown during the trial.
Initially, prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty in the case. However, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears agreed to waive the death penalty if Brown waived his right to a jury trial. During the bench trial, Judge Mark Stoner stated that Brown would have known that firing shots at near point-blank range would certainly kill someone.
Sutton argues that Brown’s urine wasn’t tested until 19 days after Allan’s shooting, and that the urine evidence only indicated what Brown had ingested in the hours, days, or weeks before the incident, rather than what he was on at the time of the shooting. Sutton also claims that admitting the urine toxicology results “permitted the State to advance the theory that Mr. Brown was under the influence of spice, which could only have been rebutted by blood toxicology results,” which in effect violated Brown’s right to a fair trial.
Sutton also pointed out that witness accounts and body camera footage of the incident showed that Brown “did not possess the knowing intent” to be convicted of murder. Brown was “in and out of consciousness” after the crash and was “trying to process” what had happened as he was upside down in the vehicle, she argued in the brief. He was “shooting to protect himself from what he could not process,” which was that Allan was coming to help him.
During the trial, defense attorneys also said that Brown had suffered a seizure. Sutton believes that the urine sample analysis was unreliable evidence of what was in Brown’s system at the time of the accident and should never have been admitted. She is now requesting the court to reduce Brown’s conviction to voluntary manslaughter, which would result in a significant reduction in his sentence.
The family of the fallen Southport Lieutenant Aaron Allan were upset with the lack of death penalty in the murder trial of his killing. The case is ongoing and the final decision is yet to be made.
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