D.C. police officer beat his wife, who has a brain tumor, in the head, prosecutors said

January 23

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the allegations against Samson Lawrence. Prosecutors say he beat his wife, who has a brain tumor. They do not say that the alleged beating led to the tumor. This story has been updated.

A D.C. police officer beat his wife, who has a brain tumor, in the head in an effort to kill her, prosecutors said during a detention hearing in a Prince George’s County courtroom Thursday.

State Circuit Judge Sean Wallace ordered that Samson Edwards Lawrence III, 45, be confined to his parents’ home, where he is currently residing, and placed under electronic monitoring.

Lawrence has been out on a $200,000 bond after being charged in December with attempted murder, assault and possessing a dangerous weapon with intent to injure in connection with a Nov. 24 incident at the couple’s Accokeek home.

Thursday’s hearing was to reconsider his bond. State prosecutors requested Lawrence be either put in jail or monitored electronically until his trial set for May because his wife was scared for her and her children.

Court records state that during an argument, Lawrence hit his wife over the head with a metal lamp fixture and threatened her with kitchen knives.

“The victim is very much in fear for her safety,” Christina Ropella, an assistant state’s attorney for Prince George’s County.

At Thursday’s hearing, Lawrence’s attorney, Leonard L. Casalino, argued that his client has done nothing to violate the current terms of his bond and it would be unnecessary to detain Lawrence before trial. Casalino also said D.C. police have been monitoring Lawrence after the 23-year veteran of the force was put on paid administrative leave.

Lawrence is one of several D.C. officers who have recently faced problems with the law.

Prosecutors also wanted Lawrence to turn in his badge, but Lawrence said it is lost and filed a report.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said it is important to retrieve badges from officers accused of serious crimes because it gives them access and authority that could allow them to escape or harm victims.

“This is one of those cases where we don’t want to have any regrets,” Alsobrooks said.

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Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.
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