UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A prosecutor said a gunman attacked a Maryland police station to kill officers. A defense attorney said the gunman was trying to goad police into killing him.
Now, a jury will decide if Michael Ford is guilty of murder in the friendly-fire shooting death of Prince George’s County police detective Jacai Colson in March 2016. Ford is charged with second-degree murder and other offenses.
Jurors heard closing arguments Thursday at Ford’s trial and are expected to begin deliberating Friday.
Officer Taylor Krauss mistook his fellow officer for a threat and shot Colson once in the chest after the detective exchanged gunfire with Ford, authorities said. Krauss, who wasn’t charged in Colson’s death, testified that he never saw the detective hold up a badge or heard him identify himself as a police officer before shooting him.
County prosecutor Joseph Ruddy said Ford created a “combat zone” and caused the deadly shooting, even though he didn’t fire the fatal shot.
Prosecutors charged that Ford was not going on a suicide mission, but “a mission to kill cops.”
But, during the closing arguments Thursday, Ford’s defense said the officer who fired the deadly shot was careless and that Ford should not be blamed. “We feel this case is reeking of reasonable doubt,” said defense attorney Antoini Jones.
Ford testified he was suicidal, but didn’t intend for anyone else to be harmed. He fired up to 23 shots and didn’t hit anyone. He said Wednesday at his trial that he never saw Colson before Krauss mistakenly shot the plainclothes narcotics detective.
Ford said he also didn’t know his two younger brothers were using their cellphones to videotape the attack.
WTOP’s John Aaron contributed to this report.