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Judge could dismiss the death penalty against man accused of killing Indianapolis officer

Officer Breann Leath.JPG
Posted at 3:16 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 17:12:33-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The man accused of killing Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Breann Leath might dodge the death penalty.

During a hearing Friday, Marion Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner ordered prosecutors to show evidence that Elliahs Dorsey knew Leath was a police officer when he allegedly fired shots through an apartment door and killed her in 2020.

If they can't, Stoner could dismiss the death penalty and life without parole enhancements in Dorsey's murder case.

Stoner gave both sides until March 30 to provide additional evidence.

Leath’s mother said there’s no doubt in her mind that Dorsey deserves the death penalty.

"He killed my child, you know, and it's never gonna be okay, it's never gonna be alright," Jennifer Leath said. "We just need justice for her."

Jennifer Leath.jpg
Jennifer Leath, Officer Breann Leath's mother

On April 9, 2020, Leath and three other officers were answering a domestic disturbance call at an east-side apartment complex near 21st Street and Shadeland Avenue when they knocked on a door.

Prosecutors say Dorsey fired shots through the closed door, striking Leath. She died of two gunshots to the head.

Dorsey also shot and wounded a woman who tried to run from the apartment, prosecutors say.

Dorsey has been charged with murder, four counts of attempted murder, criminal confinement and battery.

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