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Ryan Frederick Found Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter

Submitted by smorgan on
Well, it could have been a lot worse:

A jury convicted Ryan Frederick of voluntary manslaughter this afternoon in the January 2008 death of Chesapeake police Detective Jarrod Shivers.

It also convicted him of simple possession of marijuana.

In the process, the group opted against the two most serious charges filed against the 29-year-old – capital murder and manufacturing marijuana. Voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Marijuana possession is a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. [Virginian-Pilot]

I imagine this is one of those cases where both the defense and the prosecution breathed a sigh of relief. It could have turned out much differently and this outcome enables each side to claim that they did their job.

It’s hard to know what to make of this. Frederick was the victim here, no less so than the officer whose life was lost. This young man deserves no punishment and will now serve at least a couple years, I’d bet. He went down hard in what’s rapidly becoming a classic botched drug raid scenario wherein a suspect believes police are burglars and uses a firearm to defend their home with fatal consequences.

The staggering magnitude of police incompetence and corruption at stake here deserves considerable investigation and I hope today’s outcome won’t close the door on that. In the meantime, let’s keep Ryan in our hearts as he heads to the sentencing phase.

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