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4 Baltimore teens indicted in killing of police officer

A Baltimore County Police helicopter. (U.S. Army / Sgt. Thaddeus Harrington)

A Baltimore County Police helicopter. (U.S. Army / Sgt. Thaddeus Harrington)

A grand jury has indicted four Baltimore teenagers accused of killing a Maryland police officer who was crushed by a stolen Jeep on a suburban cul-de-sac, authorities announced Wednesday.

In a statement, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office said the grand jury indictments are made up of first-degree murder and burglary charges.

Baltimore County officer Amy Caprio died May 21 while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the suburb of Perry Hall. Police accused 16-year-old Dawnta Harris of running her down in the stolen car as she tried to apprehend him.

The state was formally supervising Harris, who was wearing an ankle bracelet pending sentencing for auto theft when he was arrested in Caprio’s death.

Also facing murder charges are his three alleged accomplices. They were allegedly committing a burglary in a nearby home when Caprio was run down on the street.

Under the state’s felony murder law, if someone is killed during a burglary, accomplices can also be prosecuted in the slaying. All four teenagers involved are now charged as adults and being held in an adult lockup.

Prosecutors allege Caprio’s body camera recorded Harris accelerating the Jeep at the officer as she tried to apprehend him.

A defense lawyer for Harris, J. Wyndal Gordon, has argued that the state agency tasked with managing and treating youngsters like his client clearly dropped the ball.

“They let Amy Caprio down,” Gordon said recently.

In the days following the policewoman’s killing, some authorities in Maryland blamed each other for having put Harris on home arrest while he awaited sentencing for auto theft.

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