Judge Rules to Allow Important Evidence in Mattawan Officer Involved Shooting Charges

Sarissa Montague

Attorney Sarissa Montague of Kalamazoo-based Levine & Levine was able to convince a judge that two key items must be presented during the trial of Mattawan, Michigan, police officer Chelsey Omilian. In November 2017, Omilian was charged with reckless use of a firearm, after firing five shots while trying to stop a car that had been reported stolen. The charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 90 days.

During an evidentiary hearing in Van Buren County District Court on Aug.23, Montague argued that she should be allowed to share evidence with a jury about what officer Omilian knew about the suspect who was being accused of stealing the car. ¬†This information including the suspect’s name, his past felonious criminal background, and that he most likely had a gun in his presence. Second, Montague also won the right to have the judge instruct the jury that police officers do have the right to discharge their firearms when a known felon is fleeing.

“This is a big win in our defense for Officer Omilian,” said Montague. ¬†“No officer is happy when they have to use their service revolver to stop a crime from happening. Officer Omilian had to make a quick decision involving the safety of not only herself but the community when she decided to try and stop the driver of the stolen car from continuing on a crime spree and potentially hurting others.”

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