Bob McCulloch says Mike Brown case may be decided by November; Grand Jury to get range of charges

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – The grand jury investigating the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police will likely finish its work by late October or early November.  That’s significantly sooner than some reports indicated.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough says some people read too much into what was essentially a housekeeping matter, when prosecutors extended the grand jury’s term into January.

“Nobody anticipates it’s going to go anywhere near January or even December,” McCullough said.  “But just to make sure everything can be covered, because if we don’t do it now it can’t be done until time runs out.”

He says the end of October or the first couple of weeks of November look like more realistic target dates.

McCullough also responded to allegations that grand jurors are being buried in evidence and left to figure out what they’ve seen.  He says the grand jury will be guided through the process by prosecutors, and given a number of options.

“We will instruct them, as we do in every case on every potential charge,” he said. “So they will receive the information and law on murder 1st degree, murder 2nd degree, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.  Whatever else may apply to that.  Then they will make their determination based on that.  So it’s not like we’re gonna leave them in there and make them guess as to what to do.”

Since the Michael Brown shooting, there has been plenty of upheaval, much of it directed personally at McCullough, as demonstrators have demanded he recues himself from the case.  A recent article in a national publication said McCullough can indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson if he wants to, because “a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich” if he chooses.

“I read that in the Washington Post the other day and thought then it was the silliest statement that could be made.  An unethical and unscrupulous prosecutor could skew the evidence to the point that I could get a ham sandwich indicted.  But once that occurs, I have to stand later in front of a judge and jury and prove that ham sandwich committed a crime.”

McCullough says he will not step away from the case because the majority of people don’t want him to.

“I think what’s perfectly clear is the people of this county have put their trust in me for a long time.  And if they didn’t have that trust, if they didn’t think I could and would present things in a fair and impartial manner, they wouldn’t keep reelecting me,” he said.

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