Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell announced his decision in open court on Saturday.
Brelo was charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter. If convicted, he could have face up to 22 years in prison.
"At the end of the day, that tragedy was brought about by conscious decision-making and lifestyles that those two individuals, irrespective of their mental states, voluntarily took throughout their adult lives," said Brelo's attorney Patrick D'Angelo immediately following the announcement.
"Although profoundly disappointed with today' verdict, I respect the legal process that we have followed here and we accept the judge's decision," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty. "I urge everyone else, in Cleveland and elsewhere — especially those who shared our hope for a different outcome — to do the same. The rule of law so fundamental to our American society demands nothing less."
"I am convinced that this prosecution in this case will prevent future deaths of police and civilians in the future," McGinty added. "If we all listen to the powerful and indisputable lesson that the Heritage Middle School shootout has taught us, there will never have to be another Brelo trial. If we correct the failures that made this tragedy possible the city and its citizens do not have to suffer through another such fiasco."
Russell, 43, and Williams, 30, led Cleveland Police on a 23-minute high-speed chase from downtown Cleveland to East Cleveland the evening of November 29, 2012.
The chase started when an officer at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center thought heard a gunshot come from Russell’s Chevy Malibu. Investigators later determined the car backfired.
As officers around the city heard radio reports involving an officer being fired upon, they joined the chase.
By the end, 62 Cleveland patrol cars were involved in the chase. It ended when officers blocked Russell and Williams in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland and then opened fire.
13 Cleveland police officers, including Brelo, fired a total of 137 bullets. Brelo fired 49 of the shots.
In court, all five supervisors were called to the stand. All the supervisors invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. A sixth officer, Michael Demchake, immediately stated he was told not to answer questions based on advice from his attorneys when he took the stand.
His response triggered an angry outburst by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty.