Fmr. Pocomoke City police chief found guilty of interfering with police investigation
SNOW HILL, Md. – “We thought it was the right verdict the first time, we think it was the right verdict this time,” said State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt.
Walking hand in hand with his wife, former Pocomoke City police chief Kelvin Sewell left the Worcester County Courthouse with another guilty verdict after the jury found that he had corruptly interfered with a hit and run incident back in 2014.
“Of course we’re very disappointed by how it went, but you know we have the highest regard for the court and the jury system,” said Sewell’s Defense Attorney Barry Coburn.
It’s a verdict that comes nearly three years after he had previously been convicted of the crime back in 2016, but the high courts overturned the conviction because Sewell wasn’t allowed to present all of his witnesses.
“The Court of Special Appeals had felt that Chief Sewell, Kelvin Sewell, had the right to have an expert testify and we certainly respected that,” said Davitt.
Despite the overturned conviction, the prosecution still pursued Sewell in the retrial, successfully proving once again, that on November 21, 2014, Sewell interfered with a car crash investigation by telling a subordinate officer to file the report as an accident and not a hit and run. The state alleging Sewell did all of this to help a friend and fellow mason fraternity brother, and that he in fact used his power in a corrupt manner. But there’s talk that Sewell may appeal the conviction.
“It’s very likely, no decisions have been made about it right now, but it wouldn’t surprise me,” said Coburn.
Now that Sewell’s been found guilty of misconduct, officials say it’s up to the judge to give a sentence that he deems reasonable. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland released a statement regarding the jury’s decision of Sewell saying:
“We can see no justice in the misguided decision by a nearly all white jury, in a county with a long history of racial division and discrimination, to convict Pocomoke City’s first Black police chief for misconduct over his handling of a traffic accident. Kelvin Sewell and other Black officers in Worcester County have reached large financial settlements, and won a consent decree to reform Pocomoke’s police department, because of the rampant racial discrimination and retaliation they faced. Much of this crucial background information was denied to the jury in this case, and we see today a further miscarriage of justice as a result.”