INDIANAPOLIS — The defense rested their case Monday as the trial of the man accused of fatally shooting Southport police Lt. Aaron Allan moves close to a verdict.
Defense attorney Denise Turner is claiming that Jason Dane Brown suffered a seizure that caused him to crash a car, then fatally shoot the officer.
Prosecutors say the illegal drugs in Brown's body are the more likely and reasonable cause for his erratic driving and violent actions that day.
Most of Monday's testimony came from Dr. Pamela Blake, a neurologist from Texas who interviewed Brown and reviewed Allan's body camera video and other records in the case.
"I think there's tremendous evidence that there was a seizure," Blake testified.
The body camera, Blake said, showed Brown repeating stock phrases and making seemingly random, repetitive hand movements while he was suspended upside-down in the car. Blake testified those movements and words were proof to her that Brown was suffering a seizure.
Blake testified that research studies have found in very rare cases that some people with epilepsy have committed homicides while they were having a seizure.
Deputy Marion County Prosecutor Ross Anderson said the cocaine, marijuana and synthetic marijuana are more reasonable explanations for Brown's actions.
While a urine test found the drugs in Brown's body, Anderson said no tests were conducted on Brown that would have detected a seizure.
"You don't know what was happening in Jason Brown's brain that day," Anderson said.
Blake's testimony is the defense team's counter to Neurosurgeon Dr. Troy Payner, who testified on Friday that he believes Brown was in full control of his actions when he fired the shots that killed Allan.
Allan was among 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. Prosecutors say Brown was suspended by a seat belt in the upside down car when he fired 18 shots, 11 of which hit Allan.
Allan, 38, 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.
On Friday, Judge Mark Stoner dismissed the life without parole enhancement that Brown had been facing. Stoner ruled that prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Brown knew Allan was a police officer when he allegedly fired those shots.
The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning with a final witness, Brown's mother, testifying via video.
Stoner is hearing the case. Brown waived his right to a jury trial in December in exchange for the prosecutor's agreement to dismiss a possible death penalty
Now that life without parole has also been dismissed, Brown faces a sentence of 45 to 65 years in prison if he's found guilty of Allan's murder.
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Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at email@example.com or on Twitter: @vicryc.