Family of Manslaughter Defendant Addresses Court

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During a hearing before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lynn Stewart Mays on Feb. 20, 24-year-old Devonte Harcum pleaded guilty to the 2020 vehicular manslaughter of 35-year-old Sougui Dokony

The defendant’s defense attorney Isaac Klein was present in the courtroom. The family of the victim also addressed the court in three victim impact statements.

Harcum was charged with vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter. The terms of the plea agreement were three years, suspending all but six months, to be served on home detention.

In addition, Judge Stewart added the defendant must remain in barber school and provide the court with a monthly report. The defendant accepted the plea agreement.

Following an incident that took place on Feb. 3, 2020, the victim was transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and later transferred to a nursing home, where on Dec. 2, 2021, he succumbed to his injuries.

The mother of the victim addressed the court during the plea agreement citing, “This man has disabled me … and made my life very, very hard. I miss [my son], I miss him very much.” 

A letter from the mother of the victim’s child highlighted the impact the loss on their daughter:

“At just nine years old, she lost her father… Although I shower my daughter with love, it will not replace the love of her father.” 

Emotions erupted in the courtroom as one final statement was read. “To God we belong, to God we return. May his soul rest in peace,” said the victim’s father.

On Feb. 3, 2020. the defendant was driving a silver Chevrolet Impala on the 2400 block of East Northern Parkway when he collided with the victim’s 2012 BMW traveling eastbound.

According to the statement of facts read by the assistant state’s attorney, the defendant was traveling 86- miles- per-hour  in an area with a posted speed limit of 35-miles-per-hour. Baltimore Police Department detectives in the case determined that had the defendant been traveling the posted speed limit, the crash would have been avoided. 

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