Grand jury rejects criminal charges in death of Robert Saylor, man with Down syndrome [View all]
Less than five miles from the theater where a man with Down syndrome died at the hands of the law enforcement officials he idolized, a grand jury on Friday heard the details of the case and decided that no crime had been committed.
“They felt no further investigation was necessary,” Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith said at a news conference outside the county’s courthouse.
rand jury proceedings are secretive in Maryland, but Smith said that his office presented the jury with 17 witness statements and that three deputies involved in the death — Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris — all testified.
An attorney for the parents of Robert Ethan Saylor, who died at the age of 26, described their reaction as “extremely disappointed and saddened and concerned.”
“This is a really hard day for them,” attorney Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum said. “They’re going to have to digest this unsettling news and determine their next step.”
Nationally, the case has drawn wide attention from parents of children with Down syndrome and advocacy groups. More than 1,000 angry messages also fill the Facebook page of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Saylor was known for his hugs and was so fascinated with the police that he would sometimes call 911 just to ask a question.