Judge dismisses case against Henrico officer charged with manslaughter

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:55 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:37 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A Henrico County judge has dropped the case against a police officer charged in the shooting death of a man on Interstate 64 in 2021.

According to court records, Henrico Police Officer Timothy Million’s voluntary manslaughter charge was dropped Wednesday, two days after the trial started.

On Nov. 6, 2021, Tony Singleton crashed on I-64, causing his vehicle to flip multiple times.

Witnesses testified Tuesday that Singleton was angry and visibly intoxicated when they ran over to render aid.

The person who called 911 told the operator Singleton had a knife on him and was acting erratic.

The jury saw the scene through body cam video when Officer Million arrived.

According to evidence presented on Tuesday, Million asked Singleton, seated in the driver’s seat, to remain in the vehicle and show his hands out of the window. He refused, and the situation escalated.

At one point, the body cam video shows Singleton exiting the car and walking toward Million. That is when Million approaches him, appears to shove him, and shoots him seven times.

The defense argued Million shot in self-defense, claiming Singleton reached for his waistband where there was a knife. Meanwhile, the prosecution argued he never reached for anything, adding that seven shots constitute unreasonable force.

“Nobody really wants to be involved in any of those, unfortunately, sometimes officers are placed in situations where their service weapon is used,” said Chief Eric English. “We try to be as transparent as we can about the information that’s being put out. We don’t try to hide anything from our citizens.”

Late Tuesday, the defense filed a motion to strike, arguing that voluntary manslaughter is unreasonable because Officer Million acted in self-defense and within the law, not in the heat of passion or mutual combat.

The judge agreed with the defense and dropped the case on Wednesday.

Commonwealth’s attorney Shannon Taylor says that should have been for a jury to decide.

“If things are not clear cut and one side is saying the version is X and the other side is saying the version is Y, then that is clearly a matter for the fact finder to receive all the evidence and make their determination with respect to the law.”

At the courthouse, there was a range of reactions to the case being dismissed. Officer Million’s friends and family were overjoyed, while jury members seemed shocked and confused.