Baltimore Officers Evade Jail Time in Kidnapping Case

BALTIMORE --

Two Baltimore City police officers convicted of misconduct will not serve jail time.

Detectives Tyrone Francis and Milton Smith appeared Wednesday before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Timothy J. Doory, who sentenced them to 18-months suspended sentences, 18 months of probation and 250 hours of community service at Sandtown-Winchester Habitat for Humanity or the Baltimore City school system.

During sentencing, Doory said of the incident, "It was wrong." He also said he didn't understand why the incident transpired. The judge concluded the incident was either done for fun, it seemed funny or it was a convoluted attempt to teach someone respect, WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter Barry Simms said.

 

The detectives were originally charged with kidnapping and assault in connection with accusations that they kidnapped and stranded two teens in 2009. A jury convicted both men of misconduct in May.

A third officer in the case, Gregory Hellen, had waived a jury trial and took his case to Doory, who found Hellen not guilty of the charges against him. Doory scolded Hellen for his participation in the May 4, 2009, incident in which Michael Johnson Jr., then 15, was picked up in his west Baltimore neighborhood in an unmarked police vehicle and taken to Howard County, where he was stranded without shoes or socks, prosecutors said.

The officers claimed Johnson and another teenager voluntarily got into the van and were being used as juvenile informants about crime in the area.

Francis told the judge he does his police job the right way saying, "I have been fair from day one. I never meant to cause anybody any harm. If I have, I apologize." He said he's only guilty of doing his job correctly.

Smith said in court, "Through my training and experience, I've held an extreme amount of integrity -- no ethical issues. The only thing I am actually guilty of is doing my job."

Michael Johnson Sr., victim's father, disagreed. He wanted the officers to face jail time.

"As far as impact on me and my family, we are totally, totally devastated. We've had a tough two years. We got through it thanks to God," Michael Johnson Sr. said. "What I said in the courtroom, I meant it. I was particularly talking about the two officers that were convicted of misconduct, meaning doing something on the job that you had no business doing. They should not ever, ever be police again -- not in this state, not in no other state on this planet."

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