Death Penalty Off Table for Man Accused in Cop's Killing After He Asks to Waive Jury Trial

Prosecutors are no longer asking for the death penalty after an Indiana man, accused of fatally shooting a police officer, asked to waive his rights to a jury trial, the Associated Press reported.

In 2017, Lt. Aaron Allan of Southport police responded to a call of a single-car crash. Upon arriving at the scene he was shot 11 times when Jason D. Brown allegedly became agitated after Allan tried to help him from his car after it flipped over from the crash, police said.

Brown requested to waive his rights to a jury trial and the prosecution agreed to drop their death penalty sentence if the judge would hear the case instead of the traditional jury hearing. Last week, Marion Superior Judge Mark Stoner accepted Brown's request.

The prosecutors said the decision to no longer seek the death penalty and accept the deal with the judge was "made after conferring with Allan's family," Michael Leffler, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office, told the AP.

Brown's attorney, Denise Turner, told the Indy Star that the prosecutor's office was wrong to seek the death penalty in this case. "The facts of the underlying case don't support the death penalty filing," she said.

Stoner is expected to hear the case in February. If convicted Brown will face a sentence of 45 years to life if convicted, Indianapolis' WIBC radio reported.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below

Police Lights, Philadelphia
Prosecutors are no longer seeking the death penalty for Jason D. Brown, a man accused of killing a police officer who tried to help him at the scene of a car crash in 2017. The above photo shows a police cruiser with its lights on at night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 24, 2021. Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Defense attorney Denise Turner told WIBC radio that both sides are ready for the case to be resolved. She said she anticipates that having the judge deliver the verdict instead of a jury doing so will shorten the trial by three or four weeks and eliminate the potential for a mistrial.

After the shooting, then-Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said he'd seek the death penalty, calling it "a very senseless act." Curry died this year, two years after he stepped down while being treated for prostate cancer.

After Brown had shot Allan two other officers opened fire on Brown following Allan's shooting. He was hospitalized for several days with what authorities said were gunshot wounds to his face, left arm and right clavicle.

The judge will consider whether to convict Brown of murder and determine whether to impose a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the waiver agreement.

Allan, a 38-year-old married father of two sons, was hired in January 2017 as a second full-time officer for Southport's largely volunteer police force after about five years as a volunteer officer for the 2,000-person municipality on the south side of Indianapolis.