Ohio prosecutor fired for posing as murder suspect's ex online
An overzealous Ohio prosecutor has been fired for impersonating the ex-girlfriend of a man accused of murder.
Former Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Aaron Brockler was assigned the aggravated murder case of Damon Dunn. Dunn is believed to be responsible for the of Kenneth Adams, who was killed on May 18, 2012, at a Cleveland car wash.
Brockler overstepped his bounds after receiving the witness list from the defense—a customary legal practice—in April of this year. On that list were the names of two women who would serve as alibis for Dunn, who was claiming that he was actually at the opposite end of town when the shooting happen.
The prosecutor then went on Facebook and created a fake account of a woman who had previously dated Dunn and had given birth to the accused's child. Brockler engaged the women via chat as Dunn's baby mama and got the two to retract their previous statements.
"This is bogus, I'm not going to lie for him," one woman said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Brockler printed the Facebook exchanges and put them in his case file with the intention of using it as evidence. A couple of days later, he took a medical leave.
It was during this absence that Brockler received a phone call from Kevin Filiatraut, the prosecutor who was assigned temporarily reassigned the case, about the Facebook chat transcripts. Brockler confirmed that he had posed as Dunn's ex-girlfriend.
Filiatraut told his supervisors about Brockler's impropriety and they unsurprisingly fired him.
For his part, Brockler maintains that he was unjustly fired for just doing his job.
"Law enforcement, including prosecutors, have long engaged in the practice of using a ruse to obtain the truth," Brockler told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I think the public is better off for what I did."
"To me, this is all a massive overreaction. I wasn't some rogue prosecutor sitting behind a computer trying to wrongfully convict someone. I did what the Cleveland police detectives should have done before I got the file."
But what could possibly force the prosecutor to engage in such unethical behavior? The victim's mother.
"I felt her pain over losing her son," Brockler noted. "I made a promise to her that [Dunn] wasn't going to walk out of the front door of the courthouse. This was a horrible killer and I didn't want him to get out and go kill someone else's son."
The case has since been handed over to the Ohio Attorney General's office.
Photo via Dave Rutt/Flickr