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Craig Patterson Convicted of Killing Julian Dawkins

Arlington Sheriff's Deputy Craig Patterson shot and killed Julian Dawkins in May in Alexandria's Lynhaven neighborhood.

Craig Patterson is charged with murdering Julian Dawkins on May 22 in Alexandria. (Credit: Alexandria Police Department)
Craig Patterson is charged with murdering Julian Dawkins on May 22 in Alexandria. (Credit: Alexandria Police Department)

By Drew Hansen and Jason Spencer

Update: A jury has recommended a six-year sentence for Arlington County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Patterson, who was convicted Friday of killing Julian Dawkins of Alexandria in May, according to WJLA.

Gwen Pratt, the mother of the 23-year-old Dawkins, told the television station she was disappointed in the verdict.

"Mr. Patterson took my past, present, and future from me," she said, according to WJLA. "No amount of time or money will bring my son back."

Patterson's actual sentencing will take place in early February.

The Arlington County Sheriff's Office released the following statement Friday afternoon before the jury's recommendation:

"At this time, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office will resume our internal investigation that was suspended upon the arrest of Deputy Paterson. Deputy Craig Patterson continues to be on leave without pay awaiting the outcome of the internal investigation."

Original article: Arlington County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Patterson has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter Friday in the May shooting of Julian Dawkins in Alexandria’s Lynhaven neighborhood, according to multiple news reports.

Patterson, 45, shot Dawkins in the chest early in the morning of May 22 after the two had an argument.

Dawkins was intoxicated and likely confronted Patterson, who was off-duty, with a knife, according to the Washington Post.

Dawkins, a 22-year-old T.C. Williams High School alum and shuttle driver for “PBS Newshour,” was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Patterson was arrested and charged with murder in the incident on May 29 in Spotsylvania County.

After several days of deliberations this week, jurors convicted Patterson of the lesser voluntary manslaughter charge.

Following their initial confrontation, Patterson went to his car to get his handcuffs, gun and badge, prosecutors said, according to WUSA.

Despite not being in Arlington County, Patterson said he thought he had the right to arrest Dawkins. Patterson said he followed Dawkins, who then swung at him, according to the Post.

“He charged at me again,” Patterson told the jury this week, according to the Post's account. “I saw something in his hand. That’s when I drew my weapon and fired. . . . I thought he had the knife in his hand at that point.”

Patterson’s defense attorney said he was forced to shoot when charged by Dawkins. A knife was found folded in Dawkins’ pocket and the defense attorney speculated that it was a cellphone that Patterson saw, according to the Post.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter said in closing arguments that if Patterson meant to uphold the law, “the proper thing to do was to call the police… but he chose not to,” according to the Post.

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