DC Fire Trial Board investigates Mills' death

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Lt. Kellene Davis' job is on the line and has been ever since the death of 77-year-old Cecil Mills, who died across the street from a D.C. fire house.

Davis faces six counts of various levels of neglect, including failing to respond to Mills and making a false statement, but the media couldn't hear any of the proceedings because the trial board kicked reporters and cameras out of the public trial.

Davis, the center of the investigation, walks into her trial to save her job and answer why she left Mills to die across the street from her firehouse on Rhode Island Avenue NE, at Engine 26.

But the first order of business by the trial board, a panel made up of two battalion chiefs and two captains was to kick the media out.

They taped up the windows for secrecy and witnesses intentionally covered their name tags as they entered and left the room.

Joseph Chisholm, firefighters union vice president agreed with the closed meeting "because we've never had an open trial board."

"Everyone wanted this to be open to the public. It was not the decision of the Deputy Mayor or Chief Ellerbe," Spokesperson for Deputy Mayor Keith St. Clair said.

One by one, the firefighters who should have responded to Mills testified, including rookie Remy Jones, who was on the Watch Desk when Mills suffered a heart attack back in January. The report says he was worried about leaving his post and failed to ring the bell.

None of the firefighters testifying stopped to talk on camera.

At least three other fire fighters of Engine 26 who failed to respond will also face a trial board.

The board could take up to a week to make a decision. Davis has put in for her retirement.


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