ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A former Arlington County sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to six years in prison for fatally shooting a man he was arguing with.
A judge upheld the jury’s recommended sentence for 45-year-old Craig Patterson on Thursday. Prosecutors had charged Patterson with first-degree murder, but jurors convicted him of the lesser charge after two days of deliberations in December.
Defense attorneys argued that Patterson “never intended to kill” 22-year-old Julian Dawkins, a shuttle driver for the PBS “NewsHour” program. Prosecutors conceded that Dawkins was drunk and likely confronted Patterson with a knife early on May 22.
Patterson testified that he fired his weapon after Dawkins charged at him, saying he thought Dawkins was armed.
Prosecutors argued that Patterson acted out of anger after the men had a verbal altercation.
Dawkins was the cousin of Washington Mystics guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, who has since dedicated her career to his memory.
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