Harford County State’s Attorney Alison Healey has chosen not to pursue prosecution of two Harford County deputies who fatally shot Whiteford resident John Fauver last year. The shooting took place last April 23 behind the CVS pharmacy in the Bel Air North Village shopping center in Forest Hill.
Fauver, 53 at the time of the shooting, reportedly had been displaying suicidal behavior and possibly carrying a gun.
Healey announced her decision in a letter to the Maryland Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division on Monday.
“While the Independent Investigations Division Report provided to my office was extensive, the description of the events leading up to the police-involved shooting in this matter seem to be generally and purposefully vague,” Healey wrote in the letter sent to division Chief Dana Mulhauser.
Healey, who took office Jan. 3 after being elected in November, chose not to prosecute Cpl. Christopher Maddox and Sgt. Bradford Sives in the shooting death of Fauver. Her predecessor as county state’s attorney, Al Peisinger, also declined to prosecute the deputies.
Despite agreeing not to prosecute, a news release Tuesday by Healey’s office called Peisinger’s decision last June not to pursue charges premature because the Independent Investigations Division hadn’t yet issued its required report to the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office. The report came out Nov. 23, 2022.
When the report was issued, it emphasized that Peisinger had decided not to prosecute the deputies even though the investigation into the killing of Fauver remained active.
“As described earlier in this report, at the time of that announcement, the State’s Attorney’s Office had neither requested nor received the results of any witness interviews, forensic testing, or medical reports,” the report stated.
The investigation division was established in 2021 following the passage of the Maryland Police Accountability Act, which mandated greater accountability and transparency in the state’s criminal justice system.
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According to the Independent Investigations Division’s report, the state Attorney General’s Office filed suit in Harford County Circuit Court two days after the shooting requesting a restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the Harford County Sheriff‘s Office from interfering with the division’s investigation. In the aftermath of the shooting, the sheriff’s office would not permit the division or Maryland State Police to “process the scene, collect physical evidence, or speak to witnesses.”
Following a hearing, a judge granted the request and ordered the sheriff’s office to turn over all evidence requested by the investigations division.
According to the release from Healey’s office, the new state’s attorney “spent a significant amount of time reviewing the evidence in this case,” including body camera and in-car video footage.
Her report was completed Monday.
“While the death of any of our county residents is tragic, and I am very sorry for the loss of Mr. Fauver’s life, the evidence in this case does not support criminal prosecution.”
Sives and Maddox, both 15-year veterans of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, have returned to work in full capacity after being placed on administrative leave, Sheriff Jeff Gahler said.