Edgecomb car caravan before trial in Milwaukee attorney killing

The trial for the man charged with killing a Milwaukee attorney in 2020 is set to start Tuesday, Jan. 18. Theodore Edgecomb faces first-degree intentional homicide charges. Community groups are standing behind Edgecomb, calling it self-defense.

Cars lined up outside Riverside High School Sunday, with signs and a message of support for Edgecomb. The 32-year-old was charged in September 2020 with shooting and killing Jason Cleereman near Holton and Brady Street.

"He deserves a fair trial, and we demand a judge that’s going to give him a fair trial," said a supporter.

Investigators say Cleereman, a Milwaukee immigration attorney, was a passenger in a car and Edgecomb was on a bike. Video shows Cleereman's vehicle following Edgecomb on the Holton Street Bridge. The Milwaukee attorney hopped out, and Edgecomb shot and killed him.

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Edgecomb was arrested months later in Kentucky.

Theodore Edgecomb, Jason Cleereman

Theodore Edgecomb, Jason Cleereman

With the trial set to start Tuesday, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is asking Judge David Borowski to recuse himself, accusing him of being biased in the case.

"We’re nervous that he’s not going to let the proper evidence speak," said a supporter. "We’re nervous that he’s not going to allow the important testimony to come out."

The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression says it's a case of self-defense, but the Cleereman family disagrees, making reference to Kyle Rittenhouse's recent acquittal in Kenosha County, a case that also used the argument of self-defense.

They released a statement saying: "Every case is unique and judged on its own facts. This is a clear case of Theodore Edgecomb’s one-sided violence, armed murder and flight from justice, one that a controversial verdict in another county does not justify."

Supporters of Edgecomb plan to meet Tuesday night at 6 p.m. for a candelight vigil after the trial begins Tuesday morning. It was postponed from last week due to COVID-19. 

FOX6 reached out to Judge Borowski's office for comment last week. He said he has no comment because it's a pending case. 

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