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Complaints dismissed between police sergeant and former girlfriend

September 01, 2010|By DON AINES

Private criminal complaints filed against one another by a Maryland State Police sergeant and a former girlfriend have been dismissed in Washington County District Court.

Sgt. Timothy J. McKenrick, 45, and Sarah E. Britton, 29, filed the complaints as the result of an Aug. 6 incident at McKenrick's home northwest of Hagerstown, according to the applications for statement of charges.

Britton sought charges of first-and second-degree assault against McKenrick, who in turn sought charges of third- and fourth-degree burglary, trespassing and second-degree assault against Britton, court records show.

District Judge Daniel Moylan on Monday dismissed the charges after a discussion at the bench with McKenrick's attorney, D. Benson Thompson III, and assistant state's attorneys from Allegany and Frederick counties who were brought in as special prosecutors.

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"As I initially indicated, Mr. McKenrick did absolutely nothing wrong," Thompson said after Monday's hearing. "He's very much looking forward to getting back and serving the people of Maryland."

"It's a good disposition for everyone involved," Thompson said.

"Obviously, no judicial determination was made as to whether either party's allegations were truthful or not," Britton's attorney, Eric Andrews, said Tuesday.

Andrews said Britton stands by her allegations.

"After consulting with me, she felt that compromise and moving forward with her life was much more beneficial" than further litigation, Andrews said. "She's looking forward to a fresh start, both personally and professionally."

McKenrick had been suspended without pay, but his status was changed to suspended with pay Tuesday, state police spokesman Gregory Shipley said.

Shipley said Monday the actions of the court would be reviewed as part of an administrative investigation by state police.

Britton's complaint stated that she and McKenrick had broken up, but that they agreed she could stay in the house until Aug. 11. However, the two argued Aug. 5 and McKenrick told Britton he wanted her out of the house, her application said.

Britton returned to McKenrick's house on the morning of Aug. 6 to pick up some items she had forgotten, but he threatened her with a gun, Britton's application alleged.

McKenrick's application said Britton entered the house and called his name. He started downstairs but, not knowing Britton's intentions or whether she was alone, he went back upstairs, warning her that he was getting a gun, his application said.

McKenrick "kept the gun at a low ready position" during the incident, his application said. He had to physically remove her from his house, his application said.

Also dismissed by Moylan was a protective order McKenrick had against Britton.

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