Police Officer Gets 3 Months in Jail for Fatally Shooting Teen at Car Wash

A Chesterfield County judge imposed a sentence of 3 months in jail and a $1,000 fine on a former Richmond police officer convicted of manslaughter in the October 2015 off duty shooting and death of an unarmed teen at a Chesterfield car wash.

In comments from the bench, Circuit Judge David E. Johnson said he respects the jury process and therefore found no reason to deviate from the wishes of the seven-man, five-woman jury that in February found David L. Cobb, 48, guilty of fatally shooting 18-year-old Paterson Brown Jr.

“This is a tragedy across the board,” the judge said, referring to both Brown and Cobb.

Johnson said he was “very moved” by several written statements submitted by Brown’s family about the impact the killing had on their lives, and he also considered Cobb’s previous unblemished record. The Judge said “I considered every possible option before I came in here today,”

The judge also ordered Cobb to make $2,000 in restitution to the Virginia Victims Compensation Fund for payments the fund provided the Brown family for their funeral expenses. The prosecution had requested Cobb be made to pay the entire $4,462 funeral cost, although the defense argued that he shouldn’t be required to pay anything.

Neither the prosecution nor the defense provided any additional evidence during the 40-minute proceeding. Cobb elected not to make any statement to the court and he was remanded to jail immediately.

Defense attorney David Baugh had urged the judge to suspend Cobb’s entire three-month jail term, citing possible safety concerns for an ex-officer incarcerated in jail. “He’s going to have to be guarded, he’s going to have to be protected,” Baugh said.

But prosecutor Melissa Hoy countered there was no information that the jail could not safely accommodate Cobb.

Cobb was booked into the Meherrin River Regional Jail in Brunswick County — not Chesterfield — and will serve his time there.

In a curious decision, the jury at Cobb’s February trial rejected a verdict of second-degree murder, the original charge, and acquitted Cobb of using a gun in the crime. Jurors also opted for a relatively light punishment after finding Cobb guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years in jail.

It took jurors nearly eight hours over two days to reach their decision. Cobb’s first trial in June 2016 ended in a hung jury after panel members said they were significantly divided and couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict.

Brown bled to death after Cobb shot him in the groin during a confrontation after the teen inexplicably jumped into Cobb’s girlfriend’s car. Cobb had driven the vehicle to Better Vision Detail & Car Spa at 7559 Midlothian Turnpike the morning of Oct. 17, 2015, to have it cleaned.

Prosecutors asserted at trial that the evidence showed that Cobb shot Brown, who was unarmed, needlessly and in anger because he believed the teen was preparing to steal Cobb’s girlfriend’s car and wouldn’t obey the officer’s commands to get out. Cobb testified that he believed the teen had a gun and that he fired only when Brown made a reaching move after being told repeatedly to stop moving and keep his hands visible.

In arguments to the judge on Tuesday, Baugh said every day since the fateful encounter, and “probably for the rest of his life,” Cobb — and perhaps Brown’s family as well — will wonder why the teen did not comply with the officer’s commands to put his hands on the steering wheel.

One could just as easily question why Cobb took the actions that he did, the prosecutor said — such as why he pulled his gun before he had even spoken with the teen or why he didn’t employ the crisis intervention training that he once taught to fellow officers to de-escalate the encounter.

Cobb, a nine-year Richmond police veteran, resigned from the force on March 10, about a month after his conviction.

Source: richmond.com

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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