Officer claims Fairfax Co. prosecutors withholding evidence, asks stun gun case be dismissed

Lawyers for Fairfax County police officer Tyler Timberlake are asking a judge to dismiss the excessive force case against him, claiming prosecutors continue to withhold evidence that would support Timberlake’s defense.

Prosecutors and the defense agree that on June 5, 2020, in the Mount Vernon area of the county,  Timberlake used his electronic shocking device on a disoriented Black man he mistakenly thought he recognized. In July, a grand jury indicted Timberlake, who is white, on three misdemeanor counts of assault and battery.

Shortly after the incident, Fairfax County Police released bodyworn camera video of the incident, in which Timberlake deploys his Taser.

On Friday, a circuit court judge will consider a motion from Timberlake’s attorney, Brandon Shapiro, to dismiss the charges against his client, claiming prosecutors have repeatedly failed to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence, even after a judge ordered it be provided to the defense.

In his motion to dismiss, Shapiro said prosecutors from the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano have not provided a report by the lead detective in the case, as well as a 911 call made made by the man who was inadvertently shocked, and a Snapchat video that was sent after the incident.

“From the day Officer Timberlake was arrested, the Commonwealth has done everything it can to tread on Officer Timberlake’s right to a fair trial,” Shapiro wrote. “The Commonwealth has repeatedly dragged its feet and has deprived Officer Timberlake of his due process and the right to a fair trial.”

Prosecutors have rejected Timberlake’s claims as an attempt to distract attention from the facts in the case. Descano’s office has countered that evidence has been provided well-within the judge’s deadlines, leading up to his scheduled September 2022 trial.

The defense has been attempting to move the trial to August of this year.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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