BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Deliberations will continue Wednesday morning in the trial of Dawnta Harris, the teen accused of burglarizing homes and running over Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio with a stolen Jeep.
Closing arguments began Tuesday morning and deliberations began right after lunch.
Caprio died last May while responding to a suspicious vehicle report in Perry Hall. Harris, then 16, is accused of fatally running over her in a stolen Jeep.
Last week, jurors watched Caprio’s body-worn camera footage. She could be heard repeatedly ordering Harris out of the car. She drew her pistol and the Jeep slammed into her. The teen’s lawyer has described Caprio’s death as an “accident.”
Attorneys argued a technicality in convicting first-degree felony murder- that hinges on convincing the jury Harris was also involved in a string of burglaries in the neighborhood and was trying to escape from that crime when he ran over Officer Caprio in a stolen Jeep.
“If they’re not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he was an accomplice on those two burglaries, count one and count two, the jury instruction said don’t even consider the felony murder,” said attorney Warren Brown.
The law is complicated- but the state argues the facts are clear.
- Closing Arguments Set For Tuesday
- Ofc. Amy Caprio’s Body Camera Footage Released
- Officer Amy Caprio’s Autopsy, Forensic Evidence Shared At Trial
- Jurors Hear Evidence On Teen ‘Crime Spree’ Ending In Officer Caprio’s Death
- ‘This Was A Senseless, Cruel Murder,’ State Shows Jury Video Of Officer Amy Caprio’s Fatal Encounter
Prosecutors brought up fingerprints, photos and surveillance video evidence from the May 21 burglaries in Perry Hall, that they say prove Harris participated in those burglaries.
“To suggest that he’s not a primary actor is absurd,” said Assistant States Attorney Robin Coffman.
But defense attorneys described Harris as a young kid who was not serving as a getaway car, but listening to music as three other teenagers burglarized multiple homes, saying, “He’s a dumb kid joyriding with somebody in a nice vehicle,”
At one point, they called him “basically a baby,”
But both sides of this high-profile, high stakes case are asking the jury for a diligent review of the facts.
“It’s tough you know, it’s a highly emotional case and we asked that they divorce their emotions and just base their decision on the evidence and the law that the judge gives them,” Brown said.
Harris faces five total charges- including felony murder, burglary and theft.
Three others, identified as Harris’ accomplices, are also facing murder charges. They’re accused of burglarizing a home when Caprio was hit.
WJZ will have the latest on the trial Wednesday.