Ex-Milwaukee Police Officer Heaggan-Brown won't testify in Sherman Park shooting trial

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 19:17:16-04

The former Milwaukee police officer on trial for the shooting death of Sylville Smith that caused days of unrest in the Sherman Park neighborhood will not testify in court.

Court adjourned for the weekend before 2:30 Friday after finding out Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is accused of reckless homicide, will not testify in this case against him. The prosecution had already rested their case during the morning session.

However, The Wisconsin Department of Justice investigator who interviewed Heaggan-Brown two days after the shooting did testify Friday.

"PO Heaggan-Brown was approximately four to five feet from the black male when he raised his duty weapon and fired it one time at the black male's torso," read Raymond Gibbs from a report he wrote after the interview.

Gibbs explained he referred to Smith as black male since that's how Heaggan-Brown referred to him.

As part of the interview, Heaggan-Brown told Gibbs and his partner why they tried to stop Smith near 44th Street and Auer Avenue, where the shooting happened.

"The instructions for the overtime detail was to target high crime and drug areas," Gibbs read.

Heaggan-Brown told Gibbs in the interview that neighbors he spoke to as a bicycle officer had complained of drug activity in the neighborhood. According to the interview as read by Gibbs, the car Smith was driving when Heaggan-Brown and his partners tried to pull him based on matched neighbor descriptions of cars involved in the activity.

Heaggan-Brown told investigators when Smith looked back at him with the gun in his hand, he had a look on his face suggesting he may be under the influence. The medical examiner assistant who did Smith's autopsy shared the toxicology report in court.

"His blood screen positive for cannabinoids, which is marijuana, and he also had ketamine in his blood, which is a product of cigarette smoking and he also had oxycodone in his blood," said Jessica Lelinski.

She also addressed the what may be the deciding factor in the case.

"Cause of death I determined was gunshot wounds to the chest and right arm," she said.

Lelinski told jurors the first shot wouldn't have killed Smith but the second would not have been survivable.

"The bullet path went through the heart and left lung," she said.

The defense takes up their case Monday with just one expert scheduled. Jurors could be deliberating by end-of-day Monday.