A man on trial in the shooting death of Chicago police Officer Thor Soderberg took the witness stand and said he's proud he killed the officer.
Bryant Brewer was on the witness stand for more than two hours Thursday before Judge Timothy Joyce halted the trial and ordered him removed after he repeatedly ignored an order to sit down.
When he first took the stand, Brewer appeared confused by questions from his attorney and spoke softly. However, he became irate when questioned by Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Brian Sexton.
At one point, Brewer answered "I'm proud," when Sexton asked if he's "proud of being a cop-killer?"
Brewer is charged with killing the 43-year-old police officer with his own weapon in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood on July 7, 2010. Police said Brewer wrestled a gun away from Soderberg, an 11-year veteran, and shot him at least three times -- in the head, back and face -- outside a police station near 61st and Racine.
Brewer is also accused of firing shots at a man sitting across the street -- a contractor by the name of Richard Mints -- and stealing his tool bag, said Assistant State’s Attorney John Dillon. He then allegedly engaged in a shootout with police, who shot him in the chest.
He was hospitalized, but eventually moved from his hospital bed to a jail cell, where he's been awaiting trial.
"This is not a case of who done it," Sexton told the judge as the bench trial began Monday. "This is a he done it."
Sexton alleged in court that Brewer went out that day to confront police.
"He is proud he gunned down a police officer," he said. "He is a police officer's worst nightmare."
But defense attorneys have a different version of events. They say Brewer was attacked by Soderberg, possibly for climbing a fence in a police parking lot. They say there was a struggle that day, and Soderberg pistol whipped Brewer with his gun before Brewer grabbed it and shot him.
They also plan to raise mental health issues.
In pre-trial hearings an expert testified that Brewer had marijuana, PCP and opiates in his system at the time of the shooting.
Defense attorneys said he was not mentally fit to stand trial, but were overruled.
Brewer has pleaded not guilty to 250 felony counts including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, armed robbery and resisting and disarming an officer.