INDIANAPOLIS – Four years after the tragic shooting death of 24-year-old IMPD Officer Breann Leath during a response to a domestic violence call, the jury trial for the suspect, Elliahs Dorsey, is set to begin on Monday, Feb. 12.
Dorsey faces charges of murder, four counts of attempted murder, criminal confinement, and battery resulting in bodily injury. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has opted to forego seeking the death penalty for Dorsey, citing constitutional prohibitions against executing mentally ill defendants.
Leath was fatally shot on April 9, 2020, while responding to a domestic disturbance call in the 1800 block of Edinburge Square, near North Franklin Road and East 16th Street. She was one of four officers dispatched to the scene, and tragically, she did not survive.
Dorsey’s public defenders have argued that he did not realize he was firing at law enforcement officers, claiming that the officers did not properly announce themselves before the shooting. They are pursuing an insanity defense for Dorsey. However, Leath’s mother, Jennifer Leath, expresses skepticism about this defense, emphasizing the distinction between mental illness and insanity.
Breann Leath had been with IMPD for over two years at the time of her death and had a longstanding desire to follow in her father’s footsteps as a police officer. To honor her memory, IMPD launched the LEATH Initiative in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, focusing on combatting domestic violence involving illegally-owned guns.
The LEATH Initiative targets domestic violence offenders with prior convictions or protective orders, seeking to enforce federal laws prohibiting them from possessing firearms. Additionally, the initiative provides support for domestic violence survivors and witnesses, connecting them with social services in their communities.
The case of Elliahs Dorsey and the trial that follows serve as a somber reminder of the dangers faced by law enforcement officers in the line of duty. The trial will undoubtedly bring closure to those who knew and loved Officer Breann Leath, while also shedding light on the critical issue of domestic violence.