Testimony about alleged domestic abuse by slain Philadelphia police officer barred from trial

A Philadelphia judge has dealt a bit of a blow to defense attorneys representing an East Germantown man heading to trial for allegedly killing an off-duty police officer in July 2012.

Kareem Alleyne is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and homicide by vehicle in connection to a fatal crash in Mt. Airy that left Officer Marc Brady dead.

The two had a history of “bad blood.” Much of it swirled around Brady’s ex-girlfriend Romara Glenn, whom police said Alleyne was dating when he hit a biking Brady with his car near the intersection of Musgrave St. and Meehan Ave.

Brady, an officer with the 22nd Police District, was on his way to Glenn’s house at the time when his Pacific mountain bike collided with Alleyne’s white Acura, according to police.

Court testimony revealed that on impact, Brady hit the front bumper of the passenger side of Alleyne’s car before slamming into the front edge of the hood. The cause of death was “indeterminable.”

Pre-trial arguments

Alleyne’s lawyers had hoped Glenn’s testimony could address the allegedly abusive relationship Brady had with the mother of six of his children.

The pair’s relationship, argued attorney James Funt during a hearing last week, sheds light on Alleyne’s state of mind the night of July 15, 2012 and, ultimately, helps demonstrate that the incident was an accident.

In a recent two-page decision obtained by Newsworks, Municipal Court Judge Lillian Ransom ruled that Glenn won’t be permitted to testify at trial about any physical or verbal attacks doled out by Brady.

“The jury is not going to hear the full nature of their relationship. Romara is the linchpin to that,” said Funt.

Glenn will, however, be able to discuss any threats she personally witnessed Brady make towards Alleyne.

Ransom’s pre-trial motions also give Alleyne the chance to talk about his relationship with Brady.

Internal-affairs involvement

In addition, Sgt. Andrew Yaletsko with Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will give limited testimony.

Yaletsko’s testimony will include, among other things, that Alleyne filed a report against Brady with internal affairs, that an investigation was launched as a result and that a referral was sent to the District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges for stalking and harrassment.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Levenberg did not immediately return requests for comment.

It’s unclear if the specific details of the internal-affairs complaint and ensuing investigation — a hotly contested issue during the pre-trial hearing — will be addressed at trial.

A copy of the internal affairs investigation obtained by NewsWorks details an Oct. 2011 incident during which Brady showed up at Alleyne’s house at 4:30 a.m. wanting to speak with Glenn and Alleyne.

Brady also kicked and punched Alleyne’s front door and opened and shut his car door, according to the report.

Police were called to the scene, but the investigation was closed “without finding” because of Brady’s death.

What will the jury hear?

During the Thursday hearing, Funt argued that the investigation should be included because, like Glenn’s testimony about her relationship with Brady, it provides insight into Alleyne’s state of mind at the time of the crash.

Funt maintained that Alleyne expected to sit down with Internal Affairs the week after the deadly incident to discuss the October encounter. As such, the lawyer maintainted, his client wasn’t interested in going after Brady.

“He’s not trying to confront Officer Brady,” Funt said. “He’s trying to avoid him and get to that hearing.”

Levenberg argued that details about the internal affairs investigation don’t belong at trial, that they have “nothing to do with” the night of the crash.

“The point is really that they want to tarnish the victim in this case,” said Levenberg.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Tuesday.

A number of Brady’s family members plan on attending the trial. They’ve maintained throughout that Alleyne intentionally hit Brady.

“Everybody is taking it one day at a time,” said Betty Brady, Marc’s sister. “We’re praying for the best outcome. I’m excited to get this resolved.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.