Craig Patterson arrested in Julian Dawkins murder

Craig Patterson appears in court in this photo on closed circuit television.

More than a week after he allegedly shot and killed a man in an Alexandria neighborhood, an Arlington County Sheriff's deputy has been charged with first-degree murder.

Craig Patterson was arraigned Friday on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the May 22 shooting death of 22-year-old Julian Dawkins.

Patterson, 44, was arrested late Thursday night at his Spotsylvania County home. He will be held without bond.

Dawkins was shot early Wednesday morning, May 22, in the 100 block of Lynhaven Drive in Alexandria. Authorities said at that time that Patterson, a 17-year veteran of the Arlington County Sheriff’s office, shot and killed Dawkins.

Based on autopsy results, Dawkins' death was ruled a homicide on Thursday evening, May 23.

"I feel like justice has been served," Dawkins' mother, Gwen Pratt Miller, said Thursday night, reacting to the arrest of Patterson. "I'm glad the arrest was made, but that still doesn't take away the fact that my only son is no longer here."

In court Friday, the prosecution argued that early on the morning of May 22nd, Patterson and Dawkins got into an argument at Lynhaven and Evans in Alexandria.

They say Patterson, who was off duty at the time, left for his home nearby and was heard by witnesses saying "I'll be back.”

Authorities say he returned with a gun, his badge, and handcuffs, chased Dawkins into a yard and shot him once in the chest.

Dawkins had a folded up knife in his pocket, but the prosecution says he never used it.

"This is an unusual circumstance,” says Patterson’s attorney. “Mr. Patterson has no criminal record and has 18 years of service with the Arlington Sheriff's office."

The commonwealth's attorney and chief of police say they understand community frustration that the arrest did not happen for more than a week after the incident. But they say Patterson received no special treatment.

Patterson was placed on unpaid leave by the Arlington County Sheriff's Department.