A Baltimore police detective was acquitted Wednesday of charges that he had lied to get a warrant to search a Northwest Baltimore home in 2012.
Prosecutors said Thomas E. Wilson III, a 20-year veteran, falsely told a judge that he saw a suspect carry a bag of drugs out of a house in the 5600 block of Wilvan Ave. in May 2012.
Wilson's attorney, Shaun F. Owens, said the jury "arrived at the conclusion that the state really failed to prove that there was any wrongdoing on Detective Wilson's part."
The target of the search warrant, Thomas Foster Jr., was charged with gun and drug offenses and incarcerated for more than six months until prosecutors dropped all charges.
Foster, now 27, and his father and sister have a filed a lawsuit seeking $4 million from Wilson, three other officers, and the city. The case is pending in U.S. District Court.
The family alleges in the suit that the officers arrested Foster and began searching their home without a warrant, then applied for a warrant, with Wilson writing in a sworn statement that he had observed Foster carrying a black bag containing suspected drugs.
The lawsuit says home surveillance video does not show Foster carrying anything.
"The video presented [at trial] misses very critical portions of what Detective Wilson's observations would have been on the date in question," said Owens, who is not representing Wilson in the civil case. "The video was a red herring."
The attorney representing the Fosters, Robert L. Smith Jr., could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Wilson was disciplined by the department in 2003 when a federal judge said that an affidavit filed by Wilson seemed packed with "knowing lies" and threw out the case. Wilson testified that he had been honest.