Most Serious Charges Against Cops Dropped in Md. Student Beating Case

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P.G. County Court (credit: John Domen/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

P.G. County Court (credit: John Domen/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A judge has dismissed first-degree assault charges against two police officers on trial for allegedly beating up a University of Maryland student.

The two Prince George’s County police officers still face charges of second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Circuit Court Judge Beverly Woodard made the ruling Wednesday. She’s presiding over the trial of officers James Harrison and Reginald Baker, who are accused of assaulting John McKenna during a rowdy student celebration that followed the Maryland basketball team’s win over Duke two years ago.

The trial began Monday with opening statements.

Prosecutors say the officers abused their power when they struck McKenna with batons. Defense lawyers say their clients were trying to control a riot.

WNEW’s John Domen contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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