UPDATE: Following a motion hearing on Monday, August 10, a sentencing date for Will Patterson Jr. was set for October 26, 2020, Shea C. Coleman, Esq. Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Portsmouth, confirmed.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Jurors on Friday convicted a teenager of trying to kill a Portsmouth police officer.
Sixteen-year-old Will Patterson, Jr. was charged following a November 2017 incident in which Officer Angelina Baaklini tried to take him into custody as a runaway. Patterson was accused of shooting Baaklini several times.
VIDEO: Full verdict reading
Jurors convicted Patterson on all felony charges he faced in connection to the incident, including attempted capital murder and aggravated malicious wounding. At the start of the trial, he entered a not guilty plea.
WAVY’s Brett Hall reports a member of the Patterson family ran out of the courtroom crying as the verdict was read; Patterson appeared motionless.
The judge ruled earlier in the week that uniformed police officers were not allowed in the courtroom for the trial. On Friday, the judge granted WAVY TV 10 permission to livestream the verdict so these officers and the public could view the proceedings.
A central part of the trial was footage captured on officer Baaklini’s bodycam during the encounter. It showed the moments before, during and after shots were fired.
The jury spent several hours deliberating on Thursday and reached an agreement on all but one charge before deciding to reconvene on Friday.
Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman released the following statement after the guilty verdict was reached:
Today, was an important day for the Portsmouth Police Department family and for Police Officer Angelina Baaklini. The conclusion of the trial today represents months of collaborative work between the Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, including the collection of evidence, interviewing witnesses, and the presentation of testimony. The men and women of the jury heard and viewed the evidence, thoughtfully deliberated on its merits, and have found 16-year-old Will R. Patterson, Jr., guilty of all charges.
As a police chief, I am proud of the response of all of my officers on that tragic November afternoon, but most importantly I am proud of the immeasurable strength and powerful resilience of Angelina who, in the course of her duties serving and protecting the citizens of Portsmouth, was critically wounded and pushed herself to survive.
The immediate response of a nearby citizen and the rapid arrival of officers were instrumental factors in keeping her alive, as well as the assistance of Portsmouth Fire & EMS personnel and the staff at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Words simply cannot express my gratitude.
Each day that a police officer puts on the uniform and goes to work, they do so with the understanding that there is a chance that they may not come back home to their loved ones. However, the duty to protect and serve their community calls to these brave men and women every day and certainly outweighs the risks they may face.
Officer Baaklini’s road to recovery is on-going. I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement shared with her by individuals and organizations from throughout the city and the Hampton Roads region. We ask that you keep Angelina and her family in your thoughts and prayers as she continues to recover.
Matt Crutcher, President of the Portsmouth Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), tells 10 On Your Side, “We would like to have seen that he just accepted responsibility for what he did, but I think you and anyone else in the courtroom could see at any given time that he did not seem to show any remorse.”
“We are very satisfied with the verdict handed down this morning. I want to thank our excellent attorneys and staff for their tireless preparation in presenting this case,” said Shaniqua Clark Nelson, Senior Assistant to the Commonwealth’s Attorney. “We are glad to have played a part in obtaining justice for Officer Baaklini.”
Patterson’s sentencing will be in July. He could be facing life in prison for some of the charges.