Judge orders new trial for Samson Lawrence III, former D.C. police officer accused of trying to kill his wife

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJLA) - A judge has ordered a new trial for former D.C. police officer Samson Lawrence III, accused of the attempted murder of his wife.

Lawrence, whose case ended in a mistrial Thursday, is scheduled for a new trial, to begin on Nov. 17.

After hearing arguments that Lawrence allegedly violated a protective order to stay away from his wife on numerous occasions - a condition of his bond - the judge also ordered that Lawrence remain in jail on no bond until the new trial.

“The state got what they wanted,” said family friend Delmus Luther. “They wanted him locked up. That’s what they got. They wanted the man locked up, because he was a threat when he was out.”

During Lawrence's trial earlier this week, his wife testified that he allegedly sprayed Lysol in her face, beat her with a metal light post and threatened her with knives last November when he got angry while trying to hang a projection television at the couple's home in Accokeek.

On Thursday, Lawrence's wife read text messages between her and her husband out loud. She said in the past several months, Lawrence called and texted her, and even showed up at their home to do his laundry.

Even more disturbing, she said Lawrence and his attorney had recently been trying to persuade her to invoke her marital rights and not testify against him. The defense, though, argued that on one occasion Lawrence was simply offering to take his wife, who was ill, to the hospital.

However, a mistrial was declared Thursday after jurors told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict on multiple counts against Lawrence, including attempted murder.

During the trial, Lawrence’s attorneys stated his wife, Betty, imagined the attack, because of medications she takes for headaches. Her father finds the assertion ridiculous.

“She doesn’t hallucinate; she doesn’t stumble and fall. All of those statements was not true,” said Betty Lawrence’s father, Samuel Cheney.

“It’s not a great day, but it’s a good day,” Cheney added. “I feel that justice, in some way, is finally being served.”


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