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Arlington County Sheriff's Deputy Charged With Murder

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Alexandria police yesterday arrested Arlington County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Patterson, 44, and charged him with murder in the homicide of Julian Dawkins.

Dawkins was shot by Patterson early in the morning of May 22. Patterson claimed that Dawkins, 22, came at him with a knife and that he shot in self-defense.

Witnesses have told investigators that the two were arguing, though, and that Patterson may have threatened Dawkins, a PBS employee. Patterson called police after the shooting and remained on the scene; the death was ruled a homicide the following day.

For days, Dawkins' father, mother and friends clamored for justice, protesting outside the Alexandria courthouse. Near the crime scene, a memorial with hundreds of flowers, candles, balloons, and liquor bottles has been set up.

The commonwealth's attorney issued an arrest warrant yesterday afternoon, and Patterson was taken into custody at his home in Spotsylvania County. He will be arraigned in Alexandria, on the same day that Dawkins will be buried.

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