Officer guilty of misconduct is fired by chief, sources say

Three-year veteran discarded potential criminal evidence

February 27, 2000|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County police officer ruled guilty of misconduct for throwing away potential evidence in a homicide has been fired by the police chief, sources within the department said Friday.

Police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan dismissed 32-year-old Patrick Donnelly based on recommendations of a trial board that conducted an administrative hearing into the officer's actions, sources said.

The board found the three-year veteran guilty of misconduct and 17 other charges last month. Donnelly had been on administrative duty since the incident.

Donnelly could not be reached Friday. A police spokesman would not confirm that Donnelly had been fired, saying it was a personnel matter.

Donnelly's attorney, George Lantzas, said he, too, considers it a personnel matter and declined to comment.

According to witness testimony in the two-day hearing, which was open to the public, Donnelly had been dispatched to Sonex Research in Annapolis on July 1 to investigate the manager's report of finding what appeared to be bullet fragments that had come through a bay door.

The research facility is across Hudson Street from a nightclub parking lot where 25-year-old Keyo Williams had been fatally shot a day earlier.

The manager testified that he gave the fragments to Donnelly, who did not take a report.

Other officers testified that Donnelly acknowledged throwing the fragments out of the window of his patrol car later that day, instead of reporting the incident to homicide investigators or turning them over as evidence.

Homicide investigators said Donnelly's actions should not affect the cases against Delmar S. Turner and Vernon Dwight Gay, who are charged in the killing.

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