Involuntary manslaughter conviction in officer's death
After the verdict was read, two detectives in the front row hung their heads and buried them in their hands. Friends and relatives reached out to each other for comfort, eyes welling up and staring forward in disbelief.
Jurors had found 26-year-old Sian James guilty in the killing of off-duty Baltimore Police Det. Brian Stevenson — but the charge fell far short of their expectations.
“We’re completely unhappy,” Stevenson’s partner, Det. Thomas Jackson, fumed after the verdict. “In the blink of an eye, he took the life of this great individual, and now all that we’re left with are memories.”
James, a former Jiffy Lube manager, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for hurling a piece of concrete at Stevenson’s head during an argument over a parking spot in Canton last October. Prosecutors said James ratcheted up an argument into a deadly assault. His defense attorney said James had been threatened and feared for his life.
James had faced charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and carrying a dangerous weapon. He was convicted only of involuntary manslaughter. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years at sentencing in July.