Remember the story of 33-year-old Daniel Harmon–Wright, the police officer who shot and killed unarmed Sunday school teacher Patricia Ann Cook in a church parking lot? Harmon–Wright was indited for murder by a grand jury last year, his case finally went to trial and after two days deliberation the verdict is in: Guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
After more than eight hours of deliberation, a Culpeper jury found 33-year-old Daniel Harmon–Wright guilty of voluntary manslaughter and malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle (involuntary manslaughter) that resulted in the death of Patricia Ann Cook almost one year ago.
The former Culpeper town policeman was also found guilty of maliciously shooting into an occupied vehicle, but innocent on the charge of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The eight-woman, four-man jury will reconvene Wednesday at 1 p.m. to begin the sentencing phase of the seven-day trial.
Harmon–Wright, who shot 54-year-old Cook four times during a suspicious persons incident at the Epiphany School parking lot on North East Street last Feb. 9, faces a maximum of 25 years in prison on the three felony convictions.
It should be noted this officer was the exact type of person you would not want to be a police officer, yet he was hired anyway, as the Washington Post reported:
[Daniel Harmon–Wright] was hired despite the objections of superiors who said his excessive drinking and attitude made him a poor choice, prosecution filings show.
Daniel Harmon-Wright, 32, had also been disciplined as an officer, including once for forcing his way into a home and brandishing his weapon without probable cause or a warrant, according to a prosecution motion in opposition to his request for bond.
[…]“Two officials after a full background [check] recommended that Mr. Harmon-Wright not be hired as a police officer,” special prosecutor James Fisher told reporters after the hearing. “That was, of course, overturned.”
[…]Harmon-Wright, a five-year veteran of the force, was hired in 2006. During a background check, Harmon-Wright told police officials that he had been disciplined for excessive drinking in the Marine Crops and had driven under the influence of alcohol three months before his interview, according to prosecution filings.
Bethany Sullivan, Harmon-Wright’s mother and an administrative assistant to the former Culpeper police chief, has been charged with forging Harmon-Wright’s entrance exam for the Town of Culpeper and one of his annual reviews.
Harmon-Wright was disciplined in connection with a 2011 incident in which he chased a 15-year-old boy after a suspicious-person report, prosecution filings show. The officer started banging on the door of a home after receiving a tip that the boy lived there.
When a woman answered, Harmon-Wright demanded that she leave, prosecutors said in the filing. Harmon-Wright entered the house and brandished his gun in the face of the woman’s 18-year-old son, according to the filing.
It turned out that the boy he was chasing was not in the home and had not committed a crime, but was on his way to school, according to the filings.
When he’s not shooting women in the back of the head, he’s sticking up school children and driving around drunk, sounds like great police material.
The Washington Post reports the cop’s mother is going to stand trial in April for allegedly forging public documents to purge his negative personnel file.
Harmon-Wright’s sentencing will be determined tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if the judge grants him any “leniency” due to his years of “public service.” _ Chris runs the website InformationLiberation.com, you can read more of his writings here. Follow infolib on twitter here.