Victim's family not permitted at DCFD trial hearing

NORTHWEST, DC (WUSA9) – There was high drama at a D.C. hearing investigating the death of a man outside a fire station.

First, in day 2 of the trial board, the family of the man who died is kicked out of the hearing. Then, the lieutenant at the center of the investigation speaks with WUSA9.

Lt. Kellene Davis, the ranking officer at the time of the incident, faces six counts of various levels of neglect including failing to respond to Mills and making a false statement.

But her first order of business after her hearing ended, was to address the cameras.

"I haven't had the opportunity to express my deepest and heartfelt condolences for the Mills family and also I in no way refused to help Mr. Mills. By the time I was aware he was having difficulty, help was already on the way," Davis said.

Her attorney says Davis had to come to defend the charges.

Donna Rucker, Evan's Attorney says, "At the time the lieutenant was made aware of what was happening across the street, everyone was on the scene and that's what we were presenting as the evidence in this case."

WUSA9's Surae Chinn asked, "Do you believe you got a fair trial?"

Davis said, "No comment."

On Wednesday, firefighters who should have responded to Mills testified, including rookie Remy Jones who was on the Watch Desk. The report says he was worried about leaving his post and failed to ring the bell to alert the other firefighters.

Sources say, Garret Murphy referred to as fire fighter one in the internal report was more concerned about preparing for an upcoming promotion than responding across the street.

Surae Chinn asked, "Do you believe you're taking most of the blame?

Davis responded, "No comment."

Earlier in the day, Cecil Mills' daughter, Marie, accompanied by her attorney Karen Evans tried to attend the public proceedings but the panel rejected their request.

Karen Evans, Mills Attorney said, "We're outraged. This is further evidence of incompetence , of a cover up, We have no confidence in the proceedings."

The media got the same treatment on day one of the trial board.

The panel has kept the media out, telling us we were not pertinent to the case. On Friday, when the hearing resumed, they told the Mills family their reasoning was out of fairness and safety.

Karen Evans, Mills Attorney said, "I asked these people do you believe that Ms. Mills and Karen Evans an attorney and the Cochran Firm pose a risk to the participants, really, really?"

Surae Chinn asked, "You're entitled to the proceedings. What is your reaction?"

Marie Mills said, "I feel we'll never know what happened. Justice has not and will not be served because it is in the hands of incompetent people."

The attorney for the Mills family is fighting to get the transcripts of the trial.

But they really believe they got the run around. They were never told when the public trial board was, or what room or what time it started after repeated calls. They then had to identify themselves on the record before the panel and wait for half an hour for the panel to deliberate and eventually deny the request.

While the trial board has concluded, it could be days before we know what the board recommends to the chief.


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