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Father's anger punctuates day 2 of Aaron Allan murder trial: 'This is a travesty'

James Allan.jpg
Posted at 2:25 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 14:08:25-05

INDIANAPOLIS — For the last two days, Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan's father has been reliving the day his son was shot to death.

From a seat in the first row of the Marion Superior Courtroom, James Allan has been watching the evidence and listening as witnesses testify about the day in 2017 that Lt. Allan was fatally shot while helping a driver who had crashed a car in Homecroft.

"This ought to be about Aaron, Aaron’s sacrifice," Allan said, speaking to WRTV outside of court Tuesday. "We have a police officer that wasn’t only there in that capacity, he was there as a good Samaritan."

Lt. Allan was among the first officers on the scene after Jason Dane Brown crashed and flipped a BMW in the 6600 block of South Madison Avenue about 2:40 p.m. on July 27, 2017. Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Ross Anderson said Brown fired 18 shots at Allan after the officer crawled into the overturned vehicle to help.

Monday's opening arguments were difficult, Allan said.

When prosecutors showed body camera footage that captured the last moments of his son's life, Allan was seated behind the screen and couldn't see the video. But he heard the audio with his son's voice trying to calm the driver. He heard the cracks of the recorded gunshots and his son's last gasping, grunting breaths.

"It's still difficult," Allan said, tears welling. "I lost my son that day. My grandson lost his father. My daughter-in-law lost her husband. I lost my legacy."

Remembering Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan

Brown, the driver, is on trial for murder and possession of marijuana in Allan's death. Brown, 32, could face life in prison without parole if he's found guilty.

The trial is being heard by Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner because Brown waived his right to a jury trial in December. In exchange, Prosecutor Ryan Mears dropped a possible death penalty charge.

James Allan said Tuesday that he does not support the decision to drop the capital charges.

"Four-and-a-half years for a slam dunk to be devalued," Allan said. "I do feel this is a travesty as far as the sacrifice my son made to save a man’s life."

Lt. Allan is the first Southport officer to be killed in the line of duty. He joined the mostly volunteer police force in 2011 and became its first full-time paid officer just months before his death. He is survived by a wife and young son.

Brown's lawyer Denise Turner said the former tattoo artist was injured, dazed, and "not aware of his actions" that day.

Deputy Prosecutor Anderson said evidence will show Brown "is solely responsible for the senseless murder of Aaron Allan."

Asked what he hopes will happen at the end of the trial, James Allan answered: "I hope the son of a b—— dies."

Several police officers who were at the scene, the homeowner where the crash occurred and a neighbor who happened to be a nurse testified Tuesday.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

RELATED | In her words: Wife of Lt. Allan remembers her husband | Hours before he was killed, Lt. Aaron Allan walked his son to his first day of kindergarten | Remembering Southport police Lt. Aaron Allan: A father, a husband & first to rush to those in need | Prosecutor to seek death penalty against Jason Brown, man accused of killing Lt. Aaron Allan | Prosecutors drop death penalty against man accused of killing Southport police officer | 'It's expensive:' This is how much a death penalty case costs in Indiana | 'Hero' nurse testifies ahead of trial for man accused of killing Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan | Trial for man accused of killing Southport officer Aaron Allan begins with body camera footage

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at victor.ryckaert@wrtv.com or on Twitter: @vicryc.