The jury in Anne Arundel County had the option of finding Joseph Lamont Walker, 41, guilty of the first-degree murder of Joseph Dale Harvey, 36, of Lansdowne, Md., or of the lesser offenses of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Jurors instead opted for a complete acquittal, including two weapons offenses.
Walker, a detective with the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office in Jersey City and a resident of Eastampton in southern New Jersey, was returning with his family from a family party in June 2013 when he struck Harvey's vehicle. The two men pulled over and began arguing.
Testifying during the trial, Walker said he told Harvey he was a police officer and showed him his badge. Some witnesses said they did not see the badge.
Jurors apparently believed Walker had reason to believe Harvey might harm him or his family.