Maryland

Arrest of Md. Officer in Suspect’s Death Reopens Wound for Family of Man Killed by Same Officer

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The arrest of a Prince George's County police officer on a murder charge reopened a painful wound for the family of a man killed years ago by the same officer.

Cpl. Michael Owen Jr. shot and killed a handcuffed William Green Monday night in his police cruiser, police said.

That wasn’t the first time he killed a man while on the job.

Owen shot and killed 35-year-old Rodney Edwards in December 2011 in front of Edwards’ Palmer Park home.

Cpl. Michael Owen Jr.

Police said Owen was leaving a Toys for Tots event at police headquarters when he saw Rodney Edwards lying in a grassy area on the side of Greenleaf Road. Police said Owen, who was in uniform, stopped to help Edwards, but Edwards pointed a gun at him, so Owen shot him.

Edwards’ family never believed he was armed, saying he didn’t carry a gun.

“I’m hoping that somebody will reopen this investigation and see that my nephew was wrongly killed,” Nathan Edwards said.

He called the state’s attorney Wednesday morning asking them to take another look at his nephew’s case.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said she has assigned a senior assistant state’s attorney to look at the evidence in the case to see if there’s enough there to reopen it.

William Green

Owen, a 10-year veteran of the department, is charged with second-degree murder, involuntary and voluntary manslaughter, first-degree assault and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence for Green’s death.

“It was a big relief,” Green’s fiancée said after the charges were announced Tuesday. “I feel like justice will be serviced even though I'm hurting and I'm grieving."

Police received a call about a traffic accident in the area of St. Barnabas Road and Winston Street in Temple Hills about 7:20 p.m. Monday, police said.

Witnesses told Owen and another officer that a man had struck their vehicles.

Officers found the suspected driver, the 43-year-old Green, asleep in his car nearby, police said.

The officers believe he was impaired, removed him from his car, handcuffed him behind his back and put him in the front passenger seat of Owen's cruiser while waiting for a drug recognition expert to arrive, police said. Owen got in the driver's seat next to Green.

Putting a suspect in the front of a cruiser that does not have a partition between the front and back seats allows the officer to maintain control of the suspect, Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said.

A witness said he heard gunshots about 5-10 minutes later and went to the cruiser and saw Green still handcuffed in the passenger's seat and suffering from gunshot wounds, according to court documents.

Owen fired his gun seven times, striking Green multiple times, according to court documents.

A Prince George's County police officer charged with killing a suspect had fatally shot another man in 2011. News4's Darcy Spencer reports.

Video obtained by News4 shows officers dragging Green out of the squad car with his hands still cuffed behind his back.

Officers then tried to save Green's life using their trauma kits, police said.

The handcuffs were removed when paramedics arrived.

The officer did not have a body camera, police said.

Judge Robert Heffron Jr. denied bond for Owen Wednesday, saying he found convincing evidence he posed a danger to the community. Owen's defense attorney had asked for him to be freed without bond.

Green was a father of two who worked for Megabus and was due for a promotion Tuesday, his fiancée said.

NBCWashington/AP
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