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Four suspects charged with murder in connection with Maryland police officer's death

Posted: 11:25 PM, May 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-23 09:31:08-04

Four suspects that were allegedly involved in the murder of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio have been identified and charged as adults.

Eugene Genius IV, 17, Darrell Ward, 15, Derrick Matthews, 16, and Dawnta Harris, 16, are all being charged with first-degree murder after Caprio, was run over by a car and killed on Monday. 

Genius, Ward, and Matthews are also facing first-degree burglary charges as well. 

On Monday, the teenagers were allegedly breaking into homes in the Perry Hall area when Caprio responded. Genius, Ward, and Matthews were reportedly inside a home when Caprio arrived.

Harris was waiting in a Jeep Wrangler, and when Officer Caprio told him to get out of the car he allegedly ran her over and then drove away. 

After a multi-day manhunt, al four teenagers are in police custody.

According to charging documents, Genius was arrested a day after the murder occurred and objected to his murder charges, saying that he was in the house when the murder happened. He added that he only knew two of the others involved, not all three. 

They all have a trial date of June 1. 

​​​​Harris has been charged with a series of carjackings, including stealing the vehicle that police say was used to kill officer Caprio. Police say Harris was under house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor at the time.

Speaking at the District Court for Baltimore on Tuesday, the judge in the case said he wasn't sure any juvenile facility is secure enough to hold Dawnta Harris.

Prosecutors said Harris was arrested four times for auto theft since December of last year.

“This 16-year-old perhaps shouldn’t have been out (of jail),” Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan said.

Maryland Secretary of Juvenile Services Sam Abed said the court acted with the Baltimore City State's Attorney and the public defender to let him out on house arrest.

 “On May 10, there was a detention that the department was not privy a party to where the youth was released back to electronic monitoring,” Abed said.

Between then and May 18, Abed said his compliance was poor and they requested that he be brought in.

His mother had reached out to the court to let them know she couldn’t find him.

 “We attempted to contact the youth through his cell phone,” Abed said. “Went to his school and other places that we knew him to frequent to try and locate him. We made many attempts to try and contact him.”

Three other suspects are in custody, and Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said they are planning to pursue murder charges against all three.

“They are in for everything that occurs as a result as that burglary, including when their co-defendant is outside running over a police officer and killing her,” Shellenberger said. “We believe we have a solid theory to proceed on murder charges against all 4 of them.”

City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office did not return a request for comment on Abed’s claim that his department wasn't privy to Harris being put back on house arrest.