MILWAUKEE – Community activists are calling for a new judge to be assigned to Theodore Edgecomb’s trial, which is due to start next week. Edgecomb supporters accuse the judge of being biased in the case.
Edgecomb is accused of shooting and killing a Milwaukee attorney, but his attorneys say it was self-defense. Jury selection is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18.
Edgecomb supporters feel the judge has crossed a line and they want him gone.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge David Borowski
“We demand that Judge Borowski recuse himself,” said Alan Chavoya of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racism and Political Oppression. “We demand a new impartial judge.”
Community organizers are accusing Milwaukee County Judge David Borowski of bias and bullying behavior toward defense attorneys representing Edgecomb, who is accused of shooting and killing Milwaukee County District Attorney Jason Cleereman.
Edgecomb’s lawyers claim the 31-year-old acted in self-defense when Cleereman confronted him on his bicycle in September 2020.
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This week, prosecutors changed the charge from first-degree reckless homicide to first-degree intentional homicide. Edgecomb again pleaded not guilty. His defense team argues it was a tactical move by the prosecution before trial.
“We understand that he allowed the prosecution to increase the charges,” said Wisconsin judge Elizabeth Brown.
Organizers say Borowski should have stopped the prosecution from bringing the charge. They also dispute that he authorizes the use of the word “victim” to describe Cleereman. The defense says this is prejudicial, pointing to a decision in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha County that prohibited such use.
“The authority he feels he has, that the defense can’t even finish a sentence without interrupting them,” Brown said.
Borowski also limited what a former police detective can testify at trial, if at all, after a heated exchange with defense attorneys.
FOX6 News has reached out to Judge Borowski’s office for comment. He said he had “no comment” as it is an ongoing matter.
Edgecomb supporters told reporters they planned to stage a protest on Sunday January 16 in the form of a caravan of cars. They added that they were exploring other options to have the judge removed before the start of the trial.