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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

John Brochu

John Brochu, 25, was driving the car involved in the shootings and subsequent pursuit. He pleaded guilty to reduced charges in lieu of trial in August, and today's testimony at the retrial of Bruce Suggs will be the first time his account of the night's events will be heard in court.
Police report that Suggs, 24, of Mason, was the back-seat passenger in Brochu's car March 9 when front-seat passenger, Matthew Hutchinson, 23, of Mason, wounded two officers before taking his own life. Suggs faces two charges of complicity to felonious assault, complicity to failure to comply with orders of a police officer and tampering with evidence. A June jury deadlocked on the first three charges, causing the retrial, and the failure to comply charge was added after Brochu's plea. If convicted on all four charges, Suggs could face a maximum of more than 26 years in prison.
Attorneys debated Wednesday morning whether Brochu could mention his conviction in front of Suggs' jury, or whether defense attorney Konrad Kircher could ask him questions referring to Hutchinson's mental state and family history.
Judge Craig Hedric stated he would only permit the mental health questions outside the presence of the jury, and plans to instruct Brochu not to disclose his sentence.
"Even if it is relevant, I must go through this balancing act," Hedric said, adding that the testimony ran too great a risk of tainting the jury's perception of Suggs' charges.
The morning's witnesses included detectives from West Chester Twp. and Sharonville who processed the crime scenes, as well as West Chester Police officer Jeff Newman, one of the officers who guarded Suggs during his stay in Bethesda North Hospital as he recovered from injuries suffered in the car crash March 9.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

John Brochu is serving six years for having an unloaded weapon in his car that was subsequently loaded and used by a crazy man to shoot police officers. Meanwhile, Brochu and the back seat passenger were essentially being held as hostages by the gunman who eventually killed himself.

Dayna said...

First - the man who shot the cops was not crazy - he was a friend of mine. Neither of the passengers were being held hostages - they were terrified to do anything... wouldn't you be?

And the gun that was used belonged to Matt Hutchinson - the 'crazy' man who killed himself... Not Brochu's.

Lois said...

Dayna, essentially you are saying the same thing. Any one who shoots two police officers and then kills himself is obviously NOT in his "right mind."

Being too terrified to resist the gunman is essentially the same thing as being held hostage. Who wouldn't follow his directions? If he shot the police officer, what's to say he wouldn't shoot his "friends" if provoked?

The fact that you didn't think the man who shot the cops was crazy makes it credible that Brochu and Suggs did not realize the depth of his emotional disturbance either.

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