A D.C. police officer could face up to life in prison for allegedly attacking and trying to kill his wife. As News4's Mark Segraves reports, it's the third time in recent weeks a member of the department has been charged with a felony.
A D.C. police officer tried to kill his wife last month, using Lysol, a metal light post and knives to attack and restrain her in their home, according to prosecutors.
Officer Samson Lawrence has been indicted in Maryland on charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder in connection with the Nov. 24 attack, Prince George's County State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks announced Friday.
“They are very serious charges and we take them very seriously, which is why we’ll continue to work with Prince George’s County police to continue to investigate and move forward through the process,” Prince George's County State's Attorney Spokesman John Erzen said.
According to court documents, Lawrence was trying to hang a projection TV in his Accokeek home when he became angry that his wife didn't know where the screws to hang it were. He allegedly grabbed a can of Lysol and sprayed his wife in the face every time she spoke.
The victim told police when she refused to make him something to eat, Lawrence began to push her.
Alsobrooks said the victim tried to leave the home but was struck on the head with a metal light fixture as she lay on the floor. She managed to break free and get to a phone to call 911, but Lawrence allegedly held two large kitchen knives to her face and throat and threatened her.
The victim pushed Lawrence off her and escaped the home. She called 911 at a neighbor's house. The couple's 16-year-old daughter heard the altercation and also called 911.
By the time police arrived, the suspect had fled the scene. He was taken into custody the next day, officials said.
The victim suffered a cut on her head that required five staples and a hairline fracture to her right wrist that she suffered while trying to protect her head. The victim said her husband has put the family through a lot over the years, News4’s Mark Segraves reported.
Lawrence has also been charged with wearing and carrying a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure and first- and second-degree assault.
Lawrence, 45, joined the department in 1990 and is a patrol officer on the department's fourth district, Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said. The department placed him on non-contact status after learning of the allegations, meaning he has no police powers on the street.
“It’s horrible to have one of our members involved a domestic violence assault like that whereby they brought charges,” Newsham said. “It’s a very serious allegation. We take it very seriously.”
The police department's hiring process has changed from when Lawrence joined the department, Newsham said.
Lawrence is the latest D.C. police officer to face criminal charges in recent weeks.
Officer Marc Washington's body was pulled from the water at Hains Point in southwest D.C. Dec. 10, a week after he was arrested on child porn charges after he allegedly visited the home of a teenage girl who had previously been reported missing, ordered her to remove her clothing and took photos of her, all while he was on duty.
Officer Linwood Barnhill Jr. was arrested last week and charged with pandering after police found a missing 16-year-old girl in his apartment. He is accused of running a prostitution operation.