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Published: Tuesday, 11/6/2007

Toledo officers say they shouted 'police' to teen

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Detective Kermit Quinn identifi
es defendant Robert Jobe
during his testimony in Lucas
County Common Pleas Court.
Detective Kermit Quinn identifi es defendant Robert Jobe during his testimony in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
JETTA FRASER/TOLEDO BLADE / THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Toledo police vice Detective William Bragg stood squarely in front of the jury box yesterday, extended his left arm as if holding a badge, and shouted, Police.

The stance, the volume, the demeanor, he told a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury, were exactly like the February night he and fellow undercover officers confronted two teenagers in a North Toledo neighborhood. That was the night, he said, that fellow vice officer Keith Dressel was shot and killed.

During the first day of testimony in the aggravated murder and murder trial of Robert Jobe, detectives Bragg and Todd Miller each testified yesterday that the undercover officers identified themselves as police before approaching the Jobe youth and his 19-year-old companion, Sherman Powell.

Mr. Powell who was arrested that night and faces drugs, weapons, and obstruction charges is expected to testify today.

Mr. Powell looked right at my badge, right in my eyes, and then took off running, Detective Bragg said. He also testified that the Jobe youth was standing next to Mr. Powell, shoulder to shoulder.

The Jobe teen is charged with shooting Detective Dressel once in the left part of his chest. Witnesses testified that the detective lay bleeding on the sidewalk in the 1400 block of North Ontario Street, gasping.

He died shortly afterward.

To prove aggravated murder, prosecutors must present evidence to show that the teenager knew that Detective Dressel was a police officer and that the killing was intentional. Yesterday, Detective Miller said that he heard Detective Bragg call out the word police both as he was confronting the teenagers and several more times as he chased Mr. Powell into the night.

The screen in front of Robert Jobe displays the type of lanyard on which Detective Keith Dressel would have worn his badge.
The screen in front of Robert Jobe displays the type of lanyard on which Detective Keith Dressel would have worn his badge.
Enlarge

Mr. Powell was apprehended. The other teenager, whom police later identified as the Jobe youth, pulled out a gun.

During questioning from defense attorney David Klucas, both detectives admitted that the purpose of being dressed in civilian clothes is to blend in with the community and avoid being picked out as police officers.

They also said that they both began to run after a fleeing Mr. Powell and so did not see the complete interaction between the murder suspect and Detective Dressel.

After you thought you saw Detective Dressel closing the distance between the white suspect, you didn t see anything at all between Detective Dressel and that fellow, did you? Mr. Klucas asked Detective Miller.

No, he said.

The two detectives were among seven police officers to testify yesterday. Detectives who arrived on scene and were involved in the investigation testified about discovering the identity of Mr. Powell s companion that night and the circumstances that led to his arrest.

Retired Toledo Police Detective Vicki Stevens testified that Robert Jobe wanted news media present at his surrender.
Retired Toledo Police Detective Vicki Stevens testified that Robert Jobe wanted news media present at his surrender.
JETTA FRASER/TOLEDO BLADE / THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Vicki Stevens, a now-retired detective who was involved in the Feb. 21 investigation, testified that she went to the home of the Jobe youth s mother, Diane, and that she was present there when the teenager called.

During a conversation with him, she testified that she told him to turn himself in because there was already a police officer killed and that we didn t need anybody else hurt. She added that she told him that police were considering him armed and dangerous.

Ms. Stevens then testified that the Jobe youth agreed to turn himself in under the condition that Chief Michael Navarre and the news media be present.

Mr. Klucas asked if the teenager expressed concern for his safety and noted that the terms of his surrender were to create a public event. But Ms. Stevens said the teenager never said he was concerned about turning himself in.

Detective Kermit Quinn testified that he interviewed Mr. Powell, who eventually confessed that he was with a teenager named Bobby White, which was the street name for Robert Jobe.

Detective Quinn also testified about the initial interview with the Jobe youth, conducted by both detectives Quinn and Jim Couch.

When I first met him, I got the impression that he was very calm and almost arrogant and cocky, Detective Quinn said. He added that the teenager did not appear upset or disoriented.

Jurors watched about 45 minutes of video which depicted the first two of three interviews between detectives and the Jobe youth.

Judge Charles Doneghy, who is presiding over the case, recessed for the evening after it became apparent that some of the jurors were getting tired.

Before testimony began yesterday, one juror was dismissed for personal reasons. The dismissal means the jury is now made up of nine men and six women and that there are only three alternates.

Detective Quinn s testimony will resume this morning.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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