Judge denies defense’s motion to bar media in Vernon Green case; charged in death of NNPD police officer Katie Thyne

Newport News

Green is charged with felony homicide in the death of Newport News police officer Katie Thyne

Vernon Green

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A judge will not exclude media from future court proceedings involving Vernon Green, the man charged with felony homicide in the death of Newport News police officer Katie Thyne.

On Friday morning, the judge heard a motion to bar the media and another motion to allow evidence at the trial that Green is a convicted felon who had a gun at the time of Thyne’s death.

Judge Chris Papile first denied the defense attorneys’ motion to bar the media from future court proceedings in the case. The commonwealth’s attorney’s office also originally cosigned that motion, but withdrew their involvement because most of the details that they were trying to protect in a previous hearing are already known to the public.

The defense’s Tyrone Johnson had argued that allowing media presents with prejudice his client because it is a high-profile case and it would make it hard to pick a jury that would be fair.

The judge also granted prosecutor Dennis Guthinger’s motion to allow into evidence the fact that Green is a convicted felon who was in possession of a firearm at the time of Thyne’s death. The judge said that he believes that piece of evidence lends itself to a possible motive for Green fleeing the scene. Thyne, a 24-year-old former U.S. Navy sailor, was fatally injured after Green’s vehicle dragged her for about a block before crashing into a tree.

Green was sentenced back in April on federal drug and gun charges related to the deadly traffic stop. He was sentenced to 10 years for illegal gun possession and two years for the felony drug possession charge. 

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