Former police officer, convicted of assault, tries to attack Pr. Geo.’s prosecutors

September 2, 2014

Former District Heights police officer Johnnie Riley’s sentencing was postponed after he tried to attack prosecutors in court on Tuesday, authorities said.

In a press release, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County said that Riley tried to attack prosecutors. The courtroom was cleared, and several sheriff’s deputies then subdued Riley. His bond was revoked, and the sentencing hearing that got underway on Tuesday before the incident was rescheduled for Oct. 15.

Riley was convicted in June of first-degree assault for shooting a fleeing, handcuffed suspect in the back and paralyzing him.

Allen Wolf, a public defender representing Riley, said that a prosecutor argued in court on Tuesday that Riley ought to be held to a higher standard because of his background as a police officer and a member of the military.

It was at that point that Riley became upset, Wolf said. “Mr. Riley, after hearing everything he’s done that’s positive in his life — his time in the Army, his deployment to Iraq, his eight years without blemish as a decorated officer — cited as a reason his sentence should be higher, lost his calm and lost his temper.”

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Julie Zauzmer is a local news reporter.
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