BALTIMORE — Two former Baltimore police officers serving hundreds of years in prison for detaining and robbing drug dealers in the early 2000s had their sentences reduced to 20 years each by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted reductions for William King and Antonio Murray on Monday, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Attorneys for the men argued earlier this year that they would have received far shorter sentences today under reforms that were passed by Congress since the officers were convicted in 2006.
“Mr. King is grateful to the Court for recognizing that a reduction of his earlier sentence of 315 years was warranted,” his attorney Steve Levin told the newspaper. “While 20 years is still a significant term of imprisonment, it provides Mr. King with some hope of once again becoming a productive member of society.”
The U.S. attorney’s office believed King’s sentence should have been reduced from 315 years to 65 and Murray’s should have been reduced from 139 years to 30.
Chuang said 20-year sentences for both “roughly corresponds with the type of sentences presently imposed in comparable police corruption cases in this District.”
In the more recent case of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force — which robbed drug dealers, planted drugs and guns on innocent people and assaulted seemingly random civilians — the longest sentence of any officer was 25 years.
King and Murray were convicted of robbery, extortion, and drug and handgun offenses. Their sentences were much higher because the court was required to consecutively run various gun-related convictions.
The federal system has no parole, but attorneys said the former officers could be released to halfway houses soon after their sentence reductions, according to The Sun.