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Arlington deputy convicted of manslaughter

Saturday - 12/14/2013, 12:01am  ET

Jury recommends Craig Patterson's sentence

WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck


ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- An Arlington County sheriff's deputy has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of a man he was arguing with.

A jury recommended a 6-year prison sentence for 45-year-old Craig Patterson on Friday. Prosecutors had charged Patterson with first-degree murder, but jurors convicted him of the lesser charge after two days of deliberations.

Defense attorneys argued that Patterson "never intended to kill" 22-year-old Julian Dawkins, a shuttle driver for the PBS "NewsHour" program. Prosecutors conceded that Dawkins was drunk and likely confronted Patterson with a knife early on the morning of May 22.

Patterson testified on Wednesday that he fired his weapon after Dawkins charged at him, saying he thought Dawkins was armed.

Prosecutors argued that Patterson acted out of anger after the men had a verbal altercation.

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