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Milwaukee man charged with homicide in fatal shooting of local immigration attorney

Theodore Malcome Edgecomb (L) and the victim, Jason Cleereman (R)
Posted at 6:14 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 23:33:29-04

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man was charged with homicide for shooting and killing an area immigration attorney in September.

Theodore Malcome Edgecomb, 30, was charged with first degree reckless homicide - use of a dangerous weapon; felony bail jumping; and misdemeanor bail jumping. If Edgecomb is convicted of all three charges, he could spend up to 71 years behind bars and up to $10,000 in fines.

As TMJ4 News has reported, immigration attorney Jason Cleereman, 54, was shot to death on North Holton Street on Sept. 22. Milwaukee police released photos of a suspect with a bike, which eventually led to Edgecomb's identification.

Prosecutors concluded in a criminal complaint that Cleereman was in a car with his wife when they had to swerve out of the way of Edgecomb, who was riding a bike. Edgecomb approached them,
punched Cleereman in the face and, when Cleereman followed him and confronted him about it, Edgecomb allegedly pulled out a firearm and shot and killed Cleereman, according to the criminal complaint.

A warrant has now been issued for Edgecomb's arrest.

The criminal complaint states that Milwaukee police officers were called to Holton Street on Sept. 22, where they found Cleereman lying face down on the staircase leading to Water Street.

Officers observed that Cleereman had a gunshot wound above his left eyebrow and that he had died from the injury. The officers also found a single 9mm round near the body, the complaint states.

Blood was found on the window of the victim's car, parked nearby.

A medical examiner concluded that Cleereman had died from the gunshot wound. The examiner further observed blunt force injuries to his face.

Cleereman's wife told investigators that she was driving with her husband near Humboldt and Brady Street when she was forced to swerve to avoid hitting a bicyclist. With the windows down, Cleereman uttered, "what the heck," the complaint states.

That's when the bicyclist, identified in the criminal complaint as Edgecomb, pulled alongside and asked Cleereman, "are you talking to me?" Cleereman said he was.

The complaint states Edgecomb then punched Cleereman, causing him to bleed. Edgecomb continued biking along Brady.

Cleereman's wife told prosecutors that they followed the suspect in their vehicle, and at Holton, Cleereman got out of the car.

Cleereman approached the suspect, who still had his bike. Cleereman's wife says she saw the suspect had a firearm and yelled to her husband, but it appears he did not hear her.

Cleereman's wife says the suspect drew the gun and fired, hitting Cleereman, according to the complaint. She says that "the suspect looked at her, as though he was contemplating shooting her." The suspect then left with his bike, according to prosecutors.

Following the shooting, Milwaukee police found surveillance footage from several locations. That footage confirmed Edgecomb's interactions with the Cleeremans, according to the complaint.

The video was shown to one Milwaukee police officer, Patrick Tivnan, who works as the primary bicycle mechanic for the department. He recognized the suspect's bike as a GMC Denali, due to its "unique grip shifter, drop handlebars, saddle, as well as similar graphics on the top tube and downtube," the complaint states.

Stills from the video were also shown to family members of the suspect, who confirmed his identity, prosecutors say.

Surveillance footage further shows a moment when Edgecomb appears to pull his shirt up over a bulge in his waistband, consistent with a firearm, according to police. The footage showed Edgecomb allegedly arrive at his residence in the City of Milwaukee.

Law enforcement then executed a search warrant at the home, where they found the bike and a firearm loaded with 9mm rounds.

Edgecomb was previously charged with several misdemeanors including carrying a concealed weapon in Waukesha County, and charged with similar crimes in Milwaukee County.

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