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Legal Review: No Bail for Teen Accused of Killing Officer

By Maryland homicide lawyer Kush Arora with Price Benowitz, LLP.

The 16-year-old suspect in the death of Baltimore County Officer First Class Amy Caprio was ordered to be held without bail by a local judge. The judge, ordering Dawnta Anthony Harris of Baltimore be held without bail called the teen “a one-man crime wave.”

The body camera Officer Caprio was wearing during the incident shows Harris accelerating a stolen Jeep he was driving as he approached the officer in a cul-de-sac. Officer Caprio was responding to the report of a suspicious vehicle in the cul-de-sac when the incident occurred.

The suspect held in the death of the officer was waiting in the Jeep as three others were burglarizing a home in the Perry Hall community, which is just northeast of Baltimore. According to officials from Baltimore County, three other teens have also been taken into custody in relation to the case.

As Officer Caprio attempted to get Harris to exit the vehicle he sped up and ran over her. The police have not confirmed Officer Caprio’s cause of death but witnesses claimed they heard a popping sound prior to the officer being run over by the Jeep. A brother of a witness, who is a local volunteer firefighter, ran out of his home and began giving Officer Caprio CPR.

Other residents of the neighborhood said they heard Officer Caprio scream, “Get out of the car,” three times before hearing a pop. Another neighbor also ran from her home and helped in attempts to resuscitate Officer Caprio, who would have celebrated her four-year anniversary on the force this coming July.

The death of Officer Caprio was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner assigned to the case. The medical examiner said that Officer Caprio died from trauma to the torso and to the head. They also noted that there were no gunshot injuries on Officer Caprio’s body.

Harris has been charged as an adult with first-degree homicide. The identities of the three other teens arrested in connection with the incident have not been released and it is not yet clear how the three teens will be charged.

“Crimes involving juveniles are intricate and can become even more complex when the juvenile is charged as an adult,” Kush Arora, a Montgomery County criminal defense attorney, said.

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