Detailed by ABC News recently, Cleveland county prosecutor Aaron Brockler was fired earlier this week after creating a fake Facebook account and posting as the fictitious former girlfriend of an alleged killer in an aggravated murder case he was prosecuting. Brockler claims that he specifically created the account in order to cast doubt on the alibi of 29-year-old Damon Dunn, the man accused of committing murder at a Cleveland car wash during May 2012. Possibly in romantic relationships with Dunn, two women were ready to provide an alibi for Dunn that would place him somewhere other than the car wash where the murder took place.
Before creating the Facebook account, Brockler spoke with the lead homicide detective regarding strategies to bust open the alibis of the two women. Regarding the conversation, Brockler said “I didn’t share my technique with him, but we talked about the importance of breaking the alibis. Unless I could break this guy’s alibi a murderer might be walking on the street. There was such a small window of opportunity, I had to act fast.”
After Brockler created the Facebook account, he messaged both women claiming that fictitious former girlfriend just had Dunn’s child. According to Brockler, this caused the two women to “go crazy” and likely become enraged with Dunn’s fictitious deception. The following day, Brockler met with both women in order to find out if they wanted to change their stories, but didn’t mention that he was the person on the other end of the Facebook messages. Brockler claims both women decided that they weren’t going to lie for Dunn. Satisfied with his manipulation, Brockler printed off copies of the Facebook conversations for the main file related to the case.
At a later date, assistant county prosecutor Kevin Filiatraut discovered the Facebook transcripts in the file and questioned Brockler about them. After Brockler admitted he created the Facebook account in question, it was immediately brought to the attention of county prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty. McGinty quickly removed Brockler from the case and the following disciplinary investigation led to Brockler’s firing.
Within a statement regarding the incident, McGinty said “This office does not condone and will not tolerate such unethical behavior. He disgraced this office and everyone who works here. By creating false evidence, lying to witnesses as well as another prosecutor, Aaron Brockler has damaged the prosecution’s chances in a murder case where a totally innocent man was killed at his work. Aaron Brockler was fired on the spot for his dishonesty.”
After the dismissal, Brockler claims that the Facebook communication wasn’t wrong or unethical at all. In an interview published on Cleveland.com, Brockler stated “To me, this is all a massive overreaction. I wasn’t some rogue prosecutor sitting behind a computer trying to wrongfully convict someone. I did what the Cleveland police detectives should have done before I got the file.” Brockler continued “Law enforcement, including prosecutors, have long engaged in the practice of using a ruse to obtain the truth. I think the public is better off for what I did.“