By Michelle Richardson, Special to the AFRO
All four teens connected to the death of a Baltimore County police officer on May 21 are being charged as adults with murder. Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, of the 1600 block of Vincent Court in Gilmore Homes in West Baltimore, has been charged with first degree murder.
On May 23, the three other teens were also identified; Darrell Jaymar Ward, 15, of the 2000 block of Ashland Ave., Derrick Eugene Matthews, 16, of the 200 block of S. Dallas Ct., and Eugene Robert Genius IV, 17, of the 400 block of N. Lakewood Rd. All four teens are currently being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson. Ward, Matthews and Genius are also being charged with first degree burglary in addition to the murder charges, according to court documents.
Dawnta Anthony Harris, 16, is one of four teens facing murder charges for the death of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio. (BPD)
On May 23, veteran Baltimore defense attorney Warren Brown announced he would represent Harris. Ward, Matthews, and Genius did not have attorneys listed in online court documents at press time.
Police allege Harris is responsible for multiple burglaries and auto thefts over a three month span in the Perry Hall area, but court records do not list burglary as one of the charges connected to the incident that killed Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio.
According to the police, Caprio was killed when Harris struck her with a Jeep Wrangler that was being used as a getaway vehicle while the other three teens robbed a residence at 3 Linwen Way. Caprio allegedly followed Harris in her police cruiser to a cul de sac and demanded Harris exit the vehicle. He allegedly opened the driver’s side door briefly, closed it, then accelerated towards Caprio striking her. Police say Harris abandoned the Jeep a few blocks away and fled by foot, but was caught by police a short time later.
According to police, Caprio was set to go on a week’s vacation with her husband, starting this weekend, to celebrate their birthdays and third anniversary.
A man who identified himself as Caprio’s father-in law, Dennis J. Caprio, stated in a Facebook post, “Please pray for my daughter in law Amy. She is so special to us. Love her so much.”
According to court documents, Harris allegedly admitted to ‘driving at the officer’, Matthews and Ward admitted to burglary, but Genius declined to give a statement and refused to agree to the first degree murder charge saying he was in the house when Caprio was killed.
Harris had allegedly been missing from home detention where he was wearing an ankle bracelet, since May 14, before his mother reported him. Maryland Secretary of Juvenile Services Sam Abed said May 22 during a press conference, “Every attempt was made to locate Harris.” According to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, Harris served time in juvenile detention and community programs before going missing from home detention.
Funeral arrangements have been scheduled for Officer Caprio. Visitation will be May 24, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m., at Schimunek Funeral Home, 9705 Belair Rd., in Nottingham.
The funeral service is May 25 from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. at Mountain Christian Church- New Life Center, 1802 Mountain Road in Joppa, followed by a committal service at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.