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Judge throws out charge against cops in U.Md. beating trial

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Photo - Courtesy of youtube.com
Grainy footage provided to media outlets shows several police officers in riot gear striking a student, reported to be John J. McKenna, with batons after the University of Maryland's basketball victory over Duke in March 2010.
Courtesy of youtube.com Grainy footage provided to media outlets shows several police officers in riot gear striking a student, reported to be John J. McKenna, with batons after the University of Maryland's basketball victory over Duke in March 2010.
Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A judge has dismissed the first-degree assault charges against two Prince George's County police officers accused of beating a University of Maryland student in 2010.

Reginald Baker and James Harrison remain charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office. They are accused of assaulting John McKenna, then 21, following the Maryland men's basketball team's victory over Duke on March 3, 2010. McKenna suffered injuries to his head, wrist and arm.

In granting a defense motion after prosecutors finished their case Wednesday morning, Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Beverly Woodard said that there was not enough evidence to prove that McKenna's injuries were both serious and permanent.

Prosecutor Joe Ruddy said that McKenna suffered a concussion, which could lead to additional issues down the line. But Woodard said that there had been no evidence showing that McKenna hadn't recovered from his head injury. She also noted that a prosecution expert saw officers striking McKenna's body but not his head.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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