Arlington County Deputy Sentenced for Man's Death

Thursday, Feb 6, 2014  |  Updated 5:42 PM EDT
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Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver with family reaction to the sentencing of Craig Patterson in the manslaughter of Julian Dawkins.

David Culver

Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver with family reaction to the sentencing of Craig Patterson in the manslaughter of Julian Dawkins.

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A former Arlington County sheriff's deputy will spend the next six years in prison for the shooting death of an Alexandria man. 

"I'm deeply sorry for the loss of his life," Craig Patterson said.

A judge upheld the jury's sentencing recommendation for Patterson Thursday, News4's Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter David Culver reported.

Patterson was convicted back in December of voluntary manslaughter for the death of 22-year-old Julian Dawkins.

On May 22, 2013, Patterson, a 17-year veteran with the sheriff's office, got into a dispute with Dawkins on the corner of Lynnhaven Drive and Evans Lane. At some point during the dispute, Dawkins was shot. Police said Patterson stayed on the scene.

Dawkins was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Patterson claimed he acted in self defense. His attorney, Megan Thomas said Dawkins was "an angry, drunk, belligerent man armed with a deadly weapon."

But prosecutor Bryan Porter argued, "This case was not about self-defense; it was about self-respect, or disrespect." Porter argued that Patterson felt disrespected in his first encounter with Dawkins, and left to get his gun moments later.

On Thursday, the prosecutor said Patterson's sentence is a message to law enforcement about their responsibility to protect citizens.

Gwenn Pratt-Miller, Dawkins' mother, said she's happy with the judge's decision to uphold the sentence, but said it won't bring her son back.

Patterson's attorney said the judge gave a fair ruling but he'll be discussing the option of appeal with Patterson. They have 30 days to appeal the sentence.

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