UNITED STATES NEWS

Jury to decide whether officer fatally shooting handcuffed man was justified

Nov 29, 2023, 10:37 AM

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A Maryland jury will decide in the coming weeks whether a Prince George’s County police officer broke the law when he shot and killed a handcuffed man in 2020.

A trial began Tuesday for Michael Owen Jr., who had served on the police force for 10 years when he became the first officer in the county’s history to be charged with murder in an on-duty killing. He faces second-degree murder and other charges.

In opening statements, prosecutors and the defense agreed on certain basic facts: that Owen fatally shot William Green, 43, while the handcuffed man was sitting in the front seat of the officer’s police cruiser, The Washington Post reported. But the two sides disputed other aspects of the case, including whether a struggle preceded the shooting and whether Owen acted in self-defense.

Several months after Green’s death, in September 2020, county officials announced a $20 million settlement with his family.

Prince George’s County has nearly 1 million residents and its police department is Maryland’s fourth largest law-enforcement agency, with more than 1,500 officers covering a wide swath of the Washington, D.C., suburbs.

Prosecutor Joel Patterson told jurors Tuesday that they would hear from three witnesses, including another responding officer, who saw no commotion in the car and heard no verbal dispute in the moments before Owens fired seven shots, striking Green six times, according to the Post.

“William Howard Green posed no threat,” Patterson said. “He posed no threat whatsoever.”

Owen had handcuffed Green behind his back after responding to a traffic accident and finding him sleeping in his vehicle, apparently under the influence of an unknown substance, according to a police report. Owen then put Green in the front passenger seat of the patrol car.

Owen wasn’t wearing a body camera during the deadly encounter.

His lead defense attorney, Thomas Mooney, argued the shooting was self-defense. He said the jury would see evidence of damage to the inside of Owen’s vehicle and hear from another officer who recalled Owen telling him Green went for his gun, the Post reported.

Mooney also raised questions about weaknesses and inconsistencies in the initial police investigation of the shooting, asking how Owen could be charged with murder if key pieces of evidence were in conflict.

The trial was set to continue Wednesday.

United States News

Associated Press

Strong winds, steep terrain hamper crews battling Los Angeles area’s first major fire of the year

GORMAN, Calif. (AP) — Strong winds pushed flames through dry brush in mountains along Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles on Sunday, and officials warned residents in the wildfire’s path to be prepared to leave if it explodes in size again. Los Angeles County’s first major wildfire of the year swiftly grew to nearly 23 […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Woman holding large knife at Denver intersection shot and killed by police, chief says

DENVER (AP) — Officers shot and killed a woman who was holding a large, hunting-style knife at an intersection in downtown Denver on Sunday, police said. Officers used a Taser on the woman twice but she began advancing toward them as they tried to back up from her, Denver police Chief Ron Thomas said a […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

2 killed when vintage plane crashes during Father’s Day event at Southern California airfield

CHINO, Calif. (AP) — Two people were killed aboard a vintage plane that crashed and burst into flames near a Southern California airfield during a weekend Father’s Day event hosted by an air museum, authorities said Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Lockheed 12A crashed shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, just west of […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people seriously injured after small plane crashes near interstate south of Denver

LARKSPUR, Colo. (AP) — Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries after their small plane crashed near Interstate 25 in Colorado on Sunday, officials said. The plane crashed in a field just off I-25 near Larkspur, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Denver, after it apparently hit a sign on the highway, causing it […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Kansas lawmaker’s law license suspended over conflicts of interest in murder case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican Kansas lawmaker who already dropped his re-election campaign last month after he was arrested in a traffic stop has now been barred from practicing law for at least a year for mishandling conflicts of interest in a murder case. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that state Rep. Carl Maughan […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Police identify Michigan splash pad shooter but there’s still no word on a motive

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who opened fire at a splash pad in suburban Detroit before taking his own life, but his motives remained unknown as investigators worked to determine if he left behind any hint of his plans. Oakland County Sheriff’s spokesperson Stephen Huber said the shooter was […]

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Jury to decide whether officer fatally shooting handcuffed man was justified