Patterson indicted on murder, gun charges

Patterson indicted on murder, gun charges
Craig Patterson (File Photo)

Updated at 4:14 p.m.

By Erich Wagner (File photo)

A grand jury indicted Arlington County Sheriff’s deputy Craig Patterson Monday on charges of murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the death of 22-year-old Julian Dawkins in May.

The indictment comes following a preliminary hearing in the case last week, during which prosecutors laid out the charges against Patterson, 44, of Alexandria, and played audio of Patterson’s phone conversation with a 911 dispatcher.

Prosecutors said at the hearing that Patterson shot and killed Dawkins during the early morning hours of May 22.

Witnesses said they had seen the two arguing on the 100-block of Lynhaven Drive hours earlier. Patterson left the scene but allegedly came back with his handgun, shot Dawkins and then called 911.

During the emergency call, Patterson said Dawkins had “pulled a knife” on him. But prosecutors and investigators disputed this claim, saying that while Dawkins did have a 3-inch blade, it was folded and clipped inside his pants pocket.

If found guilty, Patterson could face up to life in prison, while the gun charge carries a minimum penalty of three years in prison, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter. Prosecutors expect to have a trial date scheduled sometime within the next two weeks, he said.

Defense attorney Joseph King was not immediately available for comment Monday.