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Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio was killed after being run over by a teen in a stolen Jeep.
Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio was killed after being run over by a teen in a stolen Jeep. (Baltimore County Police / HANDOU / BSMG)

A Baltimore County judge handed 30 years in prison Monday to Darrell Ward, the fourth city teen convicted of murdering Officer Amy Caprio.

Ward, 17, pleaded guilty in June to felony murder. A Baltimore County patrol officer, Caprio was run over last year by another teen in a stolen Jeep while Ward and two others burglarized homes in Perry Hall. The driver, Dawnta Harris, was sentenced last month to life in prison at age 17.

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The two other teens, Derrick Matthews, 17, and Eugene Genius IV, 19, both of East Baltimore, were sentenced two weeks ago to life sentences with all but 30 years suspended. Ward, Matthews and Genius had each pleaded guilty to felony murder in exchange for 30 years in prison.

Ward also received a suspended life sentence with 30 years in jail.

"He understood exactly what his consequences were,” assistant state’s attorney Zarena Sita said.

But James McCray, a chaplain with Uncuffed Minisitries who has been working with Ward, testified that the teen felt remorse for his actions.

“He’s a young man of integrity,” McCray said. “He asks me the same question over and over again: ‘Are you sure God will forgive me?’”

Dozens of people packed the fourth-floor Towson courtroom, requiring folding chairs to be set up in the back.

When the judge read the verdict, a hushed “yes!” was heard from the side where Caprio’s family and Baltimore County Police Department employees sat.

On the other side of the courtroom, Ward’s family shouted “We love you!” and another family member signaled for the teen to keep his head up. Others cried silently.

“We are very pleased with the sentences,” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said. “We feel like the judge really zeroed in on what needed to be focused on and the background of these individuals with the juvenile justice system.”

The teens were charged under the felony murder law, which applies to a felony crime resulting in a death. Everyone who committed the felony crime — in this case the string of burglaries — also may be held responsible for the murder, whether or not they were directly involved in the death.

At Harris’ trial, prosecutors argued he was the getaway driver for the three teens, who were not in the Jeep Caprio confronted him in a suburban cul-de-sac. As she pointed her gun and ordered him out, he accelerated and ran her over, fatally injuring her.

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