A Baltimore County judge sentenced a former Baltimore County Police officer to 18 months in jail for fatally striking two pedestrians with his motorcycle while off duty.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Barranco found William Collazo Brown guilty in May of criminally negligent manslaughter, a misdemeanor, after a three-day bench trial. Brown also was convicted of driving under the influence, homicide with a motor vehicle and negligently operating a vehicle under the influence.
On July 7, Barranco sentenced Brown to five years of incarceration at the Baltimore County Detention Center with all but 18 months suspended. After his release, he will spend three years on probation, with the first 18 months under home detention.
Early in the morning of May 2, 2021, Brown was driving back from a night of drinking at an Essex motorcycle club when he hit two people near North Point Boulevard in Dundalk, killing them, police said.
Joshua Day, 34, was lying injured in the roadway after another motorist struck him when Brown hit him with his motorcycle, police said. The second pedestrian, 21-year-old Berlynn Matthews, had exited her car to help Day when Brown hit her. Prosecutors said Brown was under the influence of alcohol and speeding.
The Baltimore County Police Department said Brown “separated from his employment ” as an officer shortly after his DUI arrest.
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Brown’s attorney, Leonard Shapiro, called Barranco’s sentence reasonable.
“The two victims were really in an area you wouldn’t expect to see, and he had an unblemished record,” Shapiro said. “Given that set of facts, I thought that was a very thoughtful and reasoned sentence.”
Shapiro said Brown spoke in court on July 7 and “teared up.” “He’s very upset about what happened,” Shapiro said.
David Matthews, the father of Berlynn Matthews, said his family was disappointed that Brown will not spend more time in jail.
“It’s horrible. For two lives? For someone who knew better? It wasn’t your average person,” Matthews said in an interview Monday. “This was someone who was trained by the police department, pulled people over for the very same things that he did. It’s just stunning.”
Matthews spoke at the sentencing, he said, along with his wife and other relatives.
“Everyone says time heals … not our household. This has just crushed our family. We’re left now cleaning up the mess that they made,” Matthews said.