WASHINGTON — A Washington D.C., police officer has been indicted for murder after a man on a moped was struck and killed by another vehicle during a 2020 chase. He is also accused of conspiring with a superior officer to hide the circumstances of the crash, according to federal prosecutors.
Officer Terence Sutton, 37, spotted Karon Hylton-Brown, 20, about 10 P.m. on Oct. 23, 2020 riding without a helmet on a sidewalk, both violations. Hylton-Brown fled from Sutton as he tried to detain the rider, Fox News reported.
During the chase, Sutton reached speeds of more than double the speed limit on residential streets and at one point drove the wrong way on a one-way street, the Justice Department said.
Finally, during Hylton-Brown’s negligent riding, he was hit by a civilian vehicle in an alley. Consequently, he sustained head trauma and passed away two days later.
The chase reportedly violated the Metropolitan Police Department’s policy prohibiting pursuits as a result of a minor traffic offense.
One of his superiors, Lt. Andrew Zabavsky, 53, is charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors allege both men conspired to conceal the events that led to Hylton’s death.
“Sutton denied engaging in a vehicular pursuit of Hylton-Brown, Zabavsky withheld all information about his involvement in the incident, and both officers omitted any mention of Hylton-Brown’s serious injuries,” the indictment states. “Because of their misleading account, no investigation by other MPD components, including MCS and IAD, was initiated at that time.”
“This is the process of accountability,” said Chief Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday, noting the agency would fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Both officers pleaded not guilty Friday, Fox reported.
Sutton faces an exposure of up to 65 years in prison while Zabavsky faces 25 years. Both were released from police custody Friday. The next court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 4.