A D.C. Superior Court judge on Monday dismissed charges against a police sergeant with a small District law-enforcement agency who was arrested in March 2011 for possessing an AR-15 assault weapon that he kept in his apartment.
The judge, hearing the case without a jury, threw out three gun charges mid-trial after the defense found an e-mail that it argued prosecutors had failed to make available. The judge never decided guilt or innocence.
J. Michael Hannon, the attorney for the accused officer, said the result vindicates his client. “I tried to persuade both the police and the attorney general that this was a wrong-handed prosecution,” he said after the ruling. “The District has fractured gun laws. They’re going to need to fix it or continue to have disasters like this.”
But in a statement, the District attorney general’s office defended the prosecution, saying that it believes it “was in the public interest because those entrusted to enforce the law should abide by it as well, especially laws concerning guns.” The statement called the dismissal “unwarranted” and said the office is considering asking a higher court to intercede.