N.J. Detective Acquitted In Maryland Road Rage Fatal Shooting

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A jury sides with a New Jersey police detective who claims he shot and killed a road-raging Anne Arundel County man in self-defense.

Derek Valcourt has more on the verdict and reaction to it.

Prosecutors said his actions amounted to first-degree murder, but a jury didn’t buy it, and found nothing criminal in Walker’s actions when he pulled out his gun and opened fire.

The jury ruled Detective Joseph Walker was acting in self-defense to protect his wife and kids when he shot and killed a road-raging Joseph Harvey along an Anne Arundel County roadside in June 2013.

Walker declined to speak to reporters after the verdict and let his attorney do the talking.

“The prosecution’s theory of the case–that this was an act of murder, that this was motivated by aggression and anger–was simply wrong,” said defense attorney Charles Curlette.

Prosecutors say Walker was just as guilty in the road rage incident that started when he mistakenly cut off Harvey’s car. Harvey screamed racial slurs and threats, which prosecutors say bruised the detective’s ego and led him to murder Harvey out of anger.

“Mr. Harvey was shot not once, not twice, but three times. And witnesses said that he stopped and put his hands up before he was shot two more times,” said Anne Colt-Leitess, Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney.

But the defense convinced jurors that it was Harvey who was the road rage aggressor, and the verdict now allows Walker to move on with his life.

“He’s feeling vindicated because he knows in his core he did nothing wrong. Does he have sorrow that a life was lost? Absolutely,” said John Mennella, detective’s friend.

Walker’s supporters expect he will eventually be reinstated to his position as a police detective with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey.

The family of the victim, Joseph Harvey, could not be reached for reaction to the verdict.

Other Local News:

  • http://www.onebigdog.net/maryland-jury-sees-self-defense-as-good-and-substantial-reason/ Big Dogs House » Blog Archive » Maryland Jury Sees Self Defense As Good And Substantial Reason

    […] New Jersey police officer Joseph Walker was involved in a road rage incident in Maryland and he pulled his car over. The other driver, an intoxicated man with a criminal history, pulled over some 150 feet from Walker and got out of his vehicle (as did Walker). Walker retreated to his vehicle and retrieved his service weapon and shot the man three times (two of the shots after the man reportedly raised his hands). […]

  • http://morallowground.com/2014/11/30/off-duty-texas-cop-kenneth-caplan-allegedly-shoots-woman-in-head-during-road-rage-incident/ Off-Duty Texas Cop Kenneth Caplan Allegedly Shoots Woman in Head during Road Rage Incident | Moral Low Ground

    […] this year, an off-duty New Jersey police detective was acquitted of murdering a Maryland motorist during a road rage incident in which the latter allegedly hurled […]

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