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Maryland Supreme Court accepts appeal from former Baltimore police officer Christopher Nguyen

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The Maryland Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the appeal of a former Baltimore police officer who failed to stop a suspect in an assault from attacking a man lying on the ground.

In a single-judge trial in 2022, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Kendra Y. Ausby convicted then-police officer Christopher Nguyen, 29, of Hanover, of reckless endangerment and acquitted him of abuse of office.

The judge initially sentenced Nguyen to one year in prison, with all but 60 days in jail plus 1.5 years of probation suspended. She also ordered him to complete implicit bias and cultural sensitivity counseling.

A few days later, Ausby changed her mind and granted a suspended sentence.

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The judges agreed to examine three legal questions. The oral hearing is scheduled for October 2, according to court documents.

On August 12, 2020, Nguyen responded to a call about two men fighting on Kolb Avenue near Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore and found Wayne Brown lying face down on the sidewalk, bleeding and unresponsive.

Nguyen called a doctor and then began talking to Kenneth Somers, who claimed Brown had stolen his car. Somers stated that he had beaten Brown.

Later, Somers approached Brown a second time and taunted him. Then Somers kicked Brown once in the face.

Somers, 43, of Dundalk, was later found guilty in Baltimore District Court of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment and sentenced to seven years in prison.

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In court, Nguyen testified that he had tunnel vision and felt overwhelmed.

Nguyen said he did not know Somers was going to kick Brown, nor did he intend for it to happen. But Baltimore prosecutors argued that Nguyen's inaction created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury and constituted a crime.

At the time of his conviction, he was suspended and subsequently resigned from the department.

Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 President Mike Mancuso criticized then-Baltimore District Attorney Marilyn Mosby for indicting Nguyen.