Officer in Md. student beating to serve detention

Officer in Md. student beating to serve detention

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) A former police officer will spend 30 days in home detention for beating a University of Maryland student during a rowdy celebration following the school's 2010 basketball victory over Duke, a judge ruled Friday.

James Harrison was sentenced to a year in jail on the assault conviction. All but 30 days was suspended and the judge ordered the former Prince George's County officer to serve those in home detention.

At the center of the case was a video that shows the student half-skipping, half-jogging down the sidewalk and stopping by a police officer on horseback. An officer initially strikes him with a baton, and Harrison runs over later and also hits him. Defense attorneys said during a trial earlier this year that officers were trying to control a riot. Prosecutors described the event as a celebration.

Harrison told the judge he was proud to be a police officer and served for more than 20 years with distinction. He said he didn't agree with the jury's verdict in his case but he accepted it, and he asked the judge for leniency. Harrison's lawyer said the 48-year-old father of eight had already been punished enough, losing his career and becoming estranged from former coworkers.

The student Harrison was convicted of assaulting, John McKenna, who was 21 at the time, also spoke at the 30-minute hearing. He talked about an injury to his head from the beating, which required eight surgical staples to close, and said police officers came looking for a fight, a charge Harrison's lawyer disputed. McKenna said he would have to explain what happened at every job interview he ever goes on.

``This changed my life forever,'' said McKenna, who is working toward becoming a lawyer.

Initial charges against McKenna were dropped.

Lawyers for the state asked that Harrison spend six months in jail while Harrison's lawyer, David Simpson, argued he should serve no jail time. Simpson said after the hearing that he plans to file a motion asking the judge to remove Harrison's conviction from his record.

The judge in the case, Beverly J. Woodard, noted Harrison's years of police service and said she didn't understand why the postgame celebration got so unruly.

``Unfortunately that four seconds has changed two lives,'' Woodard said of the beating.

Harrison was one of two officers ultimately charged with assaulting McKenna. The other, Reginald Baker, was cleared of any wrongdoing by a jury in October. At the same time, Harrison was found guilty of second-degree assault but cleared of a misconduct charge. He will begin serving home detention in January.

Earlier this year Prince George's County agreed to pay about $3.6 million to 10 people who were either falsely arrested or injured by police during the post-game celebration during which McKenna was beaten. Approximately $2 million of the settlement will go to McKenna.


Follow Jessica Gresko athttp://twitter.com/jessicagresko

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.


Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.