Dawnta Harris Murders Officer Amy Caprio

Dawnta Harris was a sixteen year old teen killer from Maryland when he would murder Officer Amy Caprio

According to court documents Dawnta Harris was driving a stolen vehicle when he was pulled over by Baltimore Officer Amy Caprio. When Officer Caprio ordered Dawnta Harris to get out of the vehicle the teen killer would hit the gas and ran over the Officer

Dawnta Harris would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison

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North Branch Correctional Institution

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Dawnta Harris Case

The Maryland Court of Appeals has upheld a felony murder conviction and sentence of life in prison for the teen who fatally struck Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio with a vehicle in 2018, despite arguments from his attorneys that the court did not properly consider his age.

Dawnta Harris, now 20 years old, was behind the wheel of a stolen Jeep in Perry Hall when Caprio blocked its path with her patrol car, jumped out and issued orders for him to stop. He initially did, opening his car door, then he ducked down and accelerated, police said. She fired her weapon once before he struck her.

Harris, with three other Baltimore teens, were in the area burglarizing homes, which allowed the prosecution to seek a felony murder charge — a doctrine that can apply when someone is killed during the course of a different felony.

A jury found Harris guilty of the offense after an eight-day trial in 2019 and he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Attorneys for his appeal requested the conviction and sentence be reviewed, arguing felony murder shouldn’t apply and it was unconstitutional to give a minor a life sentence. Harris was 16 at the time of Caprio’s killing.

But the Court of Appeals rejected those arguments in a ruling Wednesday.

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Dawnta Harris, the teen who accused of burglarizing homes and running over Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio with a stolen Jeep last May, was found guilty of felony murder, burglary and theft.

Harris faced five charges in total. Here’s the verdict on each count:

felony murder (guilty)
first-degree burglary (guilty on one count, not guilty on the second count)
fourth-degree burglary (not guilty)
theft (guilty)

When the verdict was read in the courtroom, one member of Harris’ family screamed and ran out of the courtroom crying. Harris put his head in his hands and then put his head down on the table and was heard audibly crying.

“He’s not in good shape, he’s not in good shape,” said Warren Brown, one of Harris’ attorneys, “He’s been in a whirlwind this whole time. But, he’ll have to deal with it.”

Brown said there are no winners in this case and that Harris was remorseful and was “not doing well.”

“For those who want to rejoice on either side,” Brown said, “there are no winners, just losers here.”

“Nothing this court can do can bring Officer Caprio back,” he said.

The teen’s other attorney J. Wyndal Gordon thanked the judge and jury for their fair trial.

“I told you in the very beginning we were going to do our best, we were going to fight and that’s what we did we fought,” said Gordon, ” and because of us fighting it wasn’t a clean slate. He was found not guilty of some of the charges.”

The attorneys said they will file motions for a new trial and an appeal after the sentencing.

The prosecutor also thanked the jury for paying attention to the case and parsing out the evidence that allowed them to get to the verdict.

“We thought the jurors came to a very reasonable conclusion,” the prosecutor said. “It was the one the evidence demanded.”

Caprio’s family held long hugs outside of the Baltimore County Courthouse moments after learning the West Baltimore teenager who ran her over, was found responsible for her death.

Caprio’s parents spoke to the media after the trial and thanked the jury, but said they will continue to live with the pain of her death every day.

“We wouldn’t have been able to get through this without people’s love and compassion,” Debbie Byus Sorrells, Caprio’s mother, said after the verdict.

“Honestly this sort of thing isn’t a closure, it’s a continuation,” said Caprio’s father Gary Sorrells. “We will live with this traumatic event in our lives. We wake up in the morning, we live it every day, and it’s not something that’s going to go away.”

Tim, Amy’s husband, left after the verdict and didn’t speak to the media.

“My heartfelt condolences and prayers remain with Officer Amy Caprio’s family. The past couple of weeks have undoubtedly been difficult for Amy’s family, friends, and co-workers at the Baltimore County Police Department,’ said county executive Johnny Olszewski. “I thank the jurors who listened to the testimony, examined the evidence, and rendered their verdict. While this does not bring back Officer Caprio, justice has been delivered.”

“I want to again thank Officer Caprio for her commitment to the people of Baltimore County and I want to thank her family for sharing her with us. I pray daily for the safety of our men and women in law enforcement,” Olszewski added.


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