INDIANAPOLIS — Witness testimony, body camera video and other evidence revealed in a Marion Superior Court this week points to Jason Dane Brown as the man who shot and killed Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan in 2017.
As the third day of Brown's murder trial closed on Wednesday, the question still unanswered is why? Why, after violently crashing through a fence, would a driver pull a handgun and fire 18 shots at a police officer who had simply crawled into the upside-down car to help?
Brown's defense lawyer, Denise Turner said the evidence shows Brown banged his head in the crash and had no control of his actions that day.
"The state's argument is essentially he had these directed movements so when he fired the gun 18 times that means you must have known what was going on."
"That’s not true," Turner said, speaking to WRTV outside of court Wednesday.
"Jason was in and out of consciousness; he’s disoriented; he’s in shock; he’s not responding appropriately. He’s got all the telltale signs of someone with a head injury."
Allan was one of the first officers on the scene after Brown crashed and flipped a BMW in the 6600 block of South Madison Avenue about 2:40 p.m. on July 27, 2017.
Deputy Prosecutor Ross Anderson said in court that Brown repeatedly pulled the trigger and intended to kill the officer who had crawled into the car and was trying to calm him down. Anderson told the judge this week that "Jason Brown and Jason Brown alone was solely responsible for the senseless murder of Aaron Allan."
Allan was shot 11 times, court records say. He joined the Southport Police Department in 2011 and is the first Southport officer to be killed in the line of duty.
On his last morning alive, Allan walked his then-6-year-old son to school for his first day of kindergarten, his widow Stacy Allan testified this week.
Anderson and his boss Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears have declined to comment on the case outside of court.
In the courtroom, prosecutors argued that any head injury Brown suffered happened after the shooting. They have repeatedly pointed to a photo of a long gash on Brown's forehead, a wound they contend was not there in the moments after the crash and before Brown pulled a gun from his waistband and fired.
A wound that size would bleed heavily, prosecutors argued. Witnesses testified there was no blood in the vehicle when officers, nurses and others were trying to help Brown after the crash.
"Head injuries can be internal," Turner said. "You don’t have to be bleeding. You don’t have to have a cut over your scalp to have a head injury."
Brown waived his right to a jury trial and the case is being heard by Judge Mark Stoner. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a possible death penalty charge. If Brown is found guilty, he faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.
Brown's trial is on recess until Friday morning when the state is expected to call its last witnesses. Brown's defense lawyers are scheduled to begin presenting their evidence on Monday.
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Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at email@example.com or on Twitter: @vicryc.