Arlington Deputy Denied Bail

4:16 PM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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Craig Patterson, Arlington County deputy charged in death of Julian Dawkins

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- An Arlington County Deputy who shot and killed a young man in Alexandria two months ago will remain behind bars after a judge denied him bond today. 

"It is what it is. That's all I can say," said Gwen Pratt whose 22-year-old son Julian Dawkins was shot to death near their home on May 22. 

Arlington County Deputy Craig Patterson is charged with first degree murder. He has claimed self-defense.  Minutes before he shot Dawkins, the two had some kind of an altercation in the Del Ray neighborhood where Dawkins lived with his mother. Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Sengel says Deputy Patterson left and returned with his gun, badge and handcuffs.

Diedre Powell who was in the courtroom as a friend of the Dawkins/Pratt families said about Patterson's actions,  "He knew better he knew that to call for back up or to call somebody.. but to leave and come back, I think the judge did the right thing by denying him bond. "

Patterson's attorneys argued that he was not a flight risk and that he should be considered innocent until proven guilty. They pointed out that Patterson was the one who called 911 and waited for police. They also said Patterson has an employment history and has previous criminal record.  

Patterson had at least 30 supporters in the courtroom, including 15 Arlington County Deputies who worked with him over the years.  (Patterson is a 17-year employee of the Arlington County Sheriff's Department.)   

Patterson's oldest son, Craig Patterson Jr, 19, was also in the courtroom along with his pastor, his ex-wife Naja Patterson, and her new husband.  

Naja Patterson testified on behalf or her ex-husband. She said they had a peaceful divorce and that she and her new husband remained close friends with Craig. She said her ex often visited their home and his kids and would even spend the night. She also said Craig was a deacon in their church. 

None of that swayed the judge.  

He sided with the Commonwealth's Attorney who argued that Patterson showed extremely bad judgment, especially for a law enforcement officer, to leave and come back with his gun to the scene of an altercation.   

He called his actions "inexcusable" and said letting Patterson out on bond would not be reassuring for the safety of the community.

Friends and family members of Dawkins reacted with relief.

Dawkins' aunt Deneed Pratt said Patterson should not be let out because, "He murdered my nephew."

Family friend Shawn Sanders said, "I don't think he should ever, ever, ever, ever see the streets of Alexandria again."

Patterson's preliminary hearing is set for August 6. 

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