Four teenagers indicted in death of Baltimore County police officer Amy Caprio

Baltimore County grand jurors this week have indicted the four Baltimore teenagers accused in the death of county police Officer Amy Caprio.

Dawnta Harris, 16, Darrell Jaymar Ward, 15, Derrick Eugene Matthews, 16, and Eugene Robert Genius IV, 17, each face charges of first-degree murder, burglary and other violations in the indictments made public Wednesday. The murder charge alone carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Harris is accused of running Caprio over with a stolen Jeep on May 21 while police say Ward, Matthews and Genius were robbing a nearby home. Caprio, 29, died at an area hospital a short time later.

The indictments move the case from district court, where charges were filed against the teens, to circuit court, which generally handles more serious criminal cases.

Prosecutors allege in the indictments that on the day the officer was killed, the teens went to three houses in the Perry Hall and Parkville areas, broke into two and took items from all three, including a Heckler & Koch 9mm handgun, two 15-round magazines, an Xbox, a box of dishes, and some Cool Ranch Doritos and Cheetos.

Prosecutors say the teens broke into a house on Linwen Way, took the gun, the ammunition, an Apple watch, an HP laptop, the Xbox, Alexa speakers and two backpacks at a total value of about $3,000.

Police say Ward, Matthews and Genius went into the home and took the items while Harris waited in the Jeep.

Prosecutors say the teens went to a home in the 9600 block of Northwind Road and took a Kindle Fire, three bottles of alcohol, a brass candlestick holder, Doritos and Cheetos at a total value of $250.

They say the teens took a box of dishes from the porch of a home in the 7900 block of Ardmore Avenue in Parkville at a value of less than $100.

They say the teens stole the Jeep Wrangler and a Maryland license plate from another victim.

Warren Brown, an attorney representing Harris, said his client did not intend to harm Caprio, but he panicked and attempted to drive away.

Gayle Robinson, the deputy district public defender in Baltimore County who appeared at bail review hearings for two of the teens, did not return requests for comment.

The state’s attorney’s office declined to comment on the indictments. The office said in a statement Wednesday that it is “committed to assuring that each of the charged defendants and the citizens of this State, including the family of Officer Caprio, receive a fair and just trial.”

Police say they arrested Harris a short time after the confrontation with Caprio. Ward, Matthews and Genius were arrested the following day at two homes in East Baltimore. All four teens are held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

All four are charged with first-degree murder in Caprio’s death. Police say Ward, Matthews and Genius were inside the home when Harris allegedly ran over the officer.

State law allows authorities to file murder charges against co-defendants in a crime in which someone is killed.

Each of the teens is now charged with first-degree murder, seven counts of first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary, two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, five counts of theft, and four firearms charges related to the stolen Heckler & Koch handgun.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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