16-year-old charged with officer's killing has criminal history

Posted at 11:25 PM, May 22, 2018

We are learning more about the 16-year-old charged with first-degree murder in Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio's death.

RELATED: 16-year-old charged with murder after killing Baltimore County officer in Perry Hall

Speaking at the District Court for Baltimore on Tuesday, the judge, in this case, said he wasn't sure any juvenile facility is secure enough to hold Dawnta Harris.

Harris has been charged with a series of carjackings including stealing the jeep that police say was used to kill officer Caprio.

Prosecutors said Harris was arrested four times for auto theft since December of last year.

Baltimore County Chief Terrence Sheridan said it sounded like the system could have worked better in this case.

“This 16-year-old perhaps shouldn’t have been out,” said Sheridan.

While under house arrest and wearing an ankle bracelet, police say Harris stole the black jeep used to kill Officer Caprio.

ALSO RELATED: Suspects arrested, murder charges filed in death of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio

Maryland Secretary of Juvenile Services Sam Abed said the court acted with the Baltimore City State's Attorney and the public defender to let him out on house arrest.

 “On May 10 there was a detention that the department was not privy a party to where the youth was released back to electronic monitoring,” Abed said.

Between then and last May 18, Abed said his compliance was poor and they requested that he be brought in.

His mother had reached out to the court to let them know she couldn’t find him.

 “We attempted to contact the youth through his cell phone,” said Abed. “Went to his school and other places that we knew him to frequent to try and locate him. We made many attempts to try and contact him.”

Three other suspects are in custody, and Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said they are planning to pursue murder charges against all three.

“They are in for everything that occurs as a result as that burglary including when their co-defendant is outside running over a police officer and killing her,” Shellenberger said. “We believe we have a solid theory to proceed on murder charges against all 4 of them.”

WMAR-2 News reached out City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office asking for comment on Abed’s claim that his department wasn't privy to Harris being put back on house arrest, but we haven’t heard back at this time.