A grand jury has indicted Prince George’s County police officer Michael A. Owen Jr. on second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault charges in the fatal shooting of a man in police custody.
WUSA-9 reports that Owen was also indicted on charges of misconduct in office and using a handgun, according to an announcement from County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy.
“From the onset of the investigation into this incident, my office worked collaboratively with the police department, but also conducted an independent investigation into the facts of the incident,” Braveboy said.
As we previously reported, the shooting occurred on Jan. 27 following a car accident that involved multiple vehicles:
The shooting happened Monday night near the Temple Hills neighborhood, where police responded to calls that a driver struck multiple vehicles. Green was arrested at the scene and was placed in the front passenger seat of Owen’s police cruiser as they waited for a drug recognition officer to test Green. At around 8 pm, [Police Chief Hank] Stawinski told reporters, Owen shot Green seven times.
One witness told NBC News 4 Green was in the squad car “maybe 25, 30 minutes max,” before he was shot.
Stawinski corrected previous reports about the shooting, which is currently being investigated. On Tuesday, a police spokeswoman said that officers believed Green, a 43-year-old Southeast D.C. resident, was under the influence of PCP. Police initially arrested Green after responding to reports about a driver striking multiple vehicles near Temple Hills.
There are also conflicting reports as to whether a struggle occurred prior to Green’s murder.
On the night of the shooting, police said two independent witnesses—who were not police officers—told investigators they either saw or heard a struggle coming from the cruiser before the shooting. By the following day, police said those accounts could no longer be corroborated, and officers wrote in charging documents that there was no evidence of a struggle before the shooting.
Braveboy told reporters on Thursday: “Whether or not there was a struggle, what we do know is that […] we believe there was movement inside the vehicle” at the time of the shooting.
Owen was arrested and charged within 24 hours of the shooting and has been held in jail without bond since.
In response to the indictment, Owen’s attorney, Thomas C. Mooney, blasted what he’s called a “rushed” investigation and promised to remain vigilant in defending his client in court. However, Green’s family is hopeful that justice will be served.
“Today’s grand jury indictment gives the family hope that justice will prevail when Defendant Owen is brought to trial,” William “Billy” Murphy Jr., the attorney for Green’s family, said in a statement. “We applaud State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy and her team for their thorough investigation which we hope will lead to a verdict of guilty.”