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Appellate court upholds conviction of former Prince George's County police officer

A Maryland appeals court upheld the conviction of a former Prince George's County police officer who fatally shot one furniture deliveryman and wounded another in 2007.

Keith A. Washington, 48, also a former high-ranking county homeland security official, was convicted in 2008 of involuntary manslaughter and other offenses and sentenced to 45 years in prison. A jury found that he fatally shot Brandon D. Clark, 22, and wounded Clark's cousin, Robert White, who is now 39.

The two men were delivering bed rails to Washington's Accokeek home in January 2007. Washington, who was a county police corporal at the time, opened fire.

White testified in court that Washington became angry and began shooting. Washington told jurors that Clark and White -- both of whom were much larger than he -- began beating him after they exchanged harsh words. Washington said he feared for his life and shot the men in self-defense.

In his appeal, Washington argued that the jury should have heard more evidence of White's criminal history, which included convictions for assault and aiming a firearm. That history, he argued, showed that White was violent and a threat.

In a 73-page opinion, the Court of Special Appeals found that Washington didn't properly raise that issue at trial.

"Since appellant failed to raise the issue of the admissibility of White's convictions as evidence of his allegedly violent character to the trial court, we will not consider the issue on appeal," the court wrote.

The court also rejected several other arguments.

-- Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  |  February 1, 2010; 11:04 AM ET
Categories:  Maria Glod , Pr. George's , Updates  
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Next: Dog (accidentally) shoots her owner


Another Q dog stays in lock-up.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | February 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Well done. This arrogant schmuck needs to stay put.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 1, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHA! Animal got exactly what he deserved, little coward thought he was a tough guy just because he had a gun. No gun now, I bet he's sucking inmates off for extra apple sauce now. HAHAHAHA!!!

Posted by: savethepcbs | February 1, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I simply don't believe something like this happened in PG County.

Posted by: kenk3 | February 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHA! Animal got exactly what he deserved, little coward thought he was a tough guy just because he had a gun. No gun now, I bet he's sucking inmates off for extra apple sauce now. HAHAHAHA!!!

Sucking inmates off for extra apple sauce is a classic. LMAOOOOO!

Posted by: ENJOYA | February 1, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

He deserves every mintue of it!!!!

Posted by: stoneyuptwn | February 1, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

It always amazes me how these felons like Washington skirt the police system (they are in) and get away with violent acts until they go too far!

Thank goodness justice was upheld in this too many others justice turns a blind eye to the capers of cops!

Posted by: Badger21 | February 1, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

How is the wife Keith? Oh, you cannot see her but your comrades (make that former comrades)are going to your house every evening for pizza and cable TV, I think that is what they are telling the fellas in FOP.

Posted by: foxxmacpryor | February 1, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I know a few people who actually worked with Keith Washington. It was told to me that he was a Hot Head and was constantly in some type of controversy and was protected by his Superiors.

Keith Washington had received numerous complaints throughout his career as a police officer, both on and off duty, and as I have experienced myself, it is very difficult to complain and prevail in complaints against Police Officers. The troubled officers are often blindly aided while defending against complaints.

However, as the protection Keith Washington continued right up to the time that the shooting of these two men occurred in his home. It was not until that incident that they turned their back on him, for good reason might I add.

His fellow officers as well as his wife knew that this guy had mental problems. But for whatever reason, they decided to enable this man. No one stepped up to protest him or his actions. Obviously, this resulted in the killing of an innocent man, as well as permanent injury to another.

In reading the 73-page opinion by the Court of Special Appeals, Keith Washington clearly wasted attorney fees. He did not have an argument. The contrasting testimony from Keith Washington and his Wife and the States Witness, Keith Washington could have entered a plea. He would have received less time in jail for his crime.

Furthermore, they should not have thrown out the suit filed by the victims. Prince George’s County should have offered a settlement of some kind to the victim as well as the murdered mans family.

To this date, other officers in Prince George’s County as well as other jurisdictions have the same problem when it comes to protecting their own. The blue wall of silence and it is only a matter of time before they explode on the public that they are charged to serve.

Keith Washington should do the entire 45 years that he was sentenced, and his wife should have been charged with perjury for her false statements on the stand while testifying for her sick husband.

I would be the first to provide my support for Police Officers, but I must say that it’s only a mater of time until another such case like this occurs yet again. It is up to the Superior Officers to police their own.

Posted by: Special_One40 | February 2, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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