Both prosecutors and defense attorneys said Tuesday the 29-year-old officer showed courage in the last moments of her life. That much they agree on.
They disagreed, however, on whether a West Baltimore teen burglarized two homes before he ran her over. The burglary lies at the heart of the felony murder case against 17-year-old Dawnta Harris. The attorneys made their closing arguments Tuesday, then the jury began deliberations.
The case against Harris hinges on whether the jury believes the boy burglarized two homes with his friends. Prosecutors charged him with “felony murder,” meaning a felony crime in which a death is foreseeable. For example, when a burglar breaks into a home, awakens the owner and kills him in a struggle. Prosecutors must not only prove the murder, but the burglary too.
A Baltimore County jury on Friday morning watched the interview film on the fifth day of Dawnta Harris’ felony murder trial in the death of Baltimore County police officer Amy Caprio. Baltimore County police released to the public video from Caprio’s body camera, which the jury had seen Tuesday.
Defense attorney Warren Brown represents Harris and does not dispute that the teen killed Caprio.
“It ain’t a matter of innocence. We know that he is responsible for her death and that’s between him and God,” Brown told the jury.
The teen from Gilmor Homes in West Baltimore ran over Caprio last May. A police officer of four years, she had been called to a suburban cul-de-sac in Perry Hall to investigate reports of a suspicious vehicle.
She had stopped the oncoming Jeep, at first. Then Harris cracked the door — as if to step out. He ducked down and pressed the gas pedal. Prosecutors played her body camera footage in court, showing jurors the grim and deadly impact. Harris is the first of four teens to stand trial for her death.
Harris and the others had skipped school and drove the stolen Jeep to the suburbs. Assistant State’s Attorney Robin Coffin described Harris as the lookout and getaway driver.
Jurors saw a photo of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio’s blood on the pavement and heard neighbors and police describe their recollections of the day she was killed on Wednesday, the second day of the trial of Dawnta Harris, one of the teens charged in her death.