Former Richmond officer to serve 3 months in death of teen

Former Richmond officer to serve 3 months in death of teen
Paterson Brown Jr., a graduate of James River High School
Paterson Brown Jr., a graduate of James River High School

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - David Cobb -- the former Richmond police officer found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of an 18-year-old in Chesterfield in 2015 -- was sentenced to three months on Wednesday.

Cobb shot and killed 18-year-old Paterson Brown Jr. at a car wash in October 2015 and was found guilty in February.

Cobb was off duty at the time of the shooting, when Brown was seen driving through a car wash in Cobb's vehicle.

According to Chesterfield Police, Cobb approached Brown at a Sonoco gas station and told him to leave his vehicle. A confrontation escalated, and Cobb opened fire.

Employees say that Cobb identified himself multiple times as a police officer. They said the young man did not seem to respond normally.

At Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Cobb's lawyer said he had "pity for Brown who lost his life that day. I have pity for my client whose life will never be the same."

Prosecutors said that in addition to a prison sentence, Cobb should pay for funeral expenses to Brown's family.

Testimony in February's trial focused on police training for police officers, including having expert witness Michael Musselwhite of the Richmond Police Department.

He explained that twice a year, Richmond police officers go through training to build up muscle memory when faced with a potentially deadly situation. He discussed the importance of observing a suspect's hands, which can be used to grab a weapon or assault an officer.

He also pointed out that non-compliance from a suspect is often seen as a threat.

The prosecution also questioned Musselwhite over the use of a shooting simulator, which is used to put stress on an officer in training situations.

Cobb's girlfriend also took the stand this week. She works as a 911 dispatcher for the city of Richmond and described a phone call she got from Cobb on the day of the shooting. She said she picked up the phone and hear him screaming commands, yelling "stop moving" and "show me your hands" before the call dropped.

She was in a salon nearby and began running towards the car wash. She called Cobb back and said he was crying, telling her he just shot someone. She called dispatch, saying an off-duty police officer was involved in a shooting. Cobb couldn't hold back his tears during her testimony, rubbing his eyes and hanging his head.

Cobb's initial trial last year ended in a hung jury.

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