From the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office:
Tyler Testerman, 21, of Havre de Grace, Maryland plead guilty on June 27, 2016 to Attempted Second Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime of Violence in the shooting of Officer Jason Easton of the Aberdeen Police Department. Officer Easton, a 10-year veteran with the Aberdeen Police Department, responded to the 500 Block of Ohio Ct. in Aberdeen on December 4, 2015 at approximately 3:00 a.m. for a report of a suspicious person.
Upon arrival, Officer Easton met with the complainant who pointed out two subjects in the wood line of the property who were there to assault him. One of the subjects, Testerman, fired a .410 shotgun in the direction of Officer Easton and the resident. Multiple projectiles struck Ofc. Easton in his face and upper torso including one in his left eye. Officer Easton was able to tactically retreat with the resident and secure cover. A backup unit responded quickly and Officer Easton was transported to Shock Trauma by the Maryland State Police. The resident was unharmed.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Testerman and the resident had been arguing over text messages throughout the late evening and early morning, and Testerman threatened to blow up his trailer. Testerman, along with his co-defendant, Scott Lawrence, drove to Aberdeen to assault him. While Lawrence beat on the trailer with a pipe to draw out the resident, Testerman stood by with a shotgun. The resident would not answer and both suspects then began to leave when Officer Easton arrived, and the shot was fired. The shotgun was later recovered in Perryman.
In a victim impact statement read to Judge Angela M. Eaves, Officer Easton told the court that he has been limited on being able to pick up his children, and has missed holiday events from the pain. Furthermore, his wife has had to assume the role of both parents and sole caregiver for the family. According to a personal injury lawyer, officer Easton, citing his faith, forgave Testerman, and wished him to want to do better.
During sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney David Ryden in conjunction with the family’s personal injury lawyer, pointed out that Officer Easton was serving his city and community honorably by accepting his oath of office to confront danger at the risk of his life. Nevertheless, Officer Easton responded heroically to protect the people of Aberdeen, no matter who they were, and but for his sacrifice, grave harm or death could have come to one of its residents.
Testerman received the statutory maximum of 30 years’ incarceration for Attempted Second Degree murder, and a consecutive sentence of 20 years’ incarceration suspending all but 5 years for the Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime of Violence. The sentence will be served without the possibility of parole. He also was sentenced to consecutive suspended sentences of 25 years for Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Assault, and 3 years for Possessing a Shotgun by a Person Convicted of a Disqualifying Crime. Testerman was sentenced to an additional consecutive 6 years’ incarceration from Judge M. Elizabeth Bowen for a violation of probation. The aggregate sentence was 78 years suspending all but 41 years to serve.
Lawrence previously pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Assault, and one count of Accessory After the Fact to Attempted First Degree Murder for his role in the shooting. He is due to be sentenced before Judge Kevin J. Mahoney on July 11, 2016.
From the Aberdeen Police Department:
Aberdeen Police Shooting Suspect Pleads Guilty
The man accused of shooting an Aberdeen Police Officer on December 4, 2015 has accepted a plea deal in Harford County Circuit Court.
Tyler Testerman, 22, pleaded guilty on June 27th to the attempted Second Degree Murder of Officer Jason Easton. Also, Testerman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first degree assault against an Aberdeen resident.
Testerman, who was on probation at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to 78 years with all suspended except for 41 years in the Maryland Department of Corrections. The first 5 years of his sentence are mandatory and are without the possibility of parole.
Officer Easton, who sustained a severe eye injury as a result of the shooting, continues to recover from this incident and has not returned to full duty. The officer had eye surgery and needed postoperative ocular steroid treatment. Moving forward he will need therapy and different treatments such as dry eye treatment.