A Baltimore Police officer who was speeding and ran a red light while responding to a call, fatally striking a man on a scooter, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to vehicular manslaughter and will not serve jail time.

Officer Alexis Acosta, a more than three-year veteran, was responding to a call for an assault at about 12:40 p.m. on June 21, 2022, when he ran a red light at the intersection of East Biddle Street and North Milton Avenue in Broadway East and hit Terry Harrell, who was heading home from a therapist appointment.

Harrell died two days after the crash at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 58.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Yvette M. Bryant accepted a plea agreement that called for Acosta, 29, of Middle River, to spend two years on probation.

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“I just want to say I apologize,” Acosta said to Harrell’s family members in the courtroom. “I’m sorry for your loss, and I really apologize.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Alex Rodriguez said the state extended the plea agreement that called for no incarceration because Acosta had been responding to a call, though that did not excuse his actions, Rodriguez added.

Acosta, he said, had a duty not only to respond to the emergency but make sure bystanders were safe. He was supposed to slow down and check his surroundings before driving through the intersection, Rodriguez said.

“He was negligent,” Rodriguez said. “One moment is going to echo in that family for the rest of their lives.”

Acosta’s attorney, Chaz Ball, said his client is a father of three who became a police officer because he wanted to help people.

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Ball said his client immediately turned on his body camera and called for a medic after the crash. Acosta, he said, has taken responsibility for his actions.

“He never saw Mr. Harrell,” Ball said. “It was tragic — a tragic accident.”

The Baltimore Board of Estimates, the city’s mayor-controlled spending board, in 2023 approved a $400,000 settlement with the Estate of Terry Harrell as well as his wife and children.

Vernia Lee Harrell, Terry Harrell’s wife, consented to the plea agreement but told the judge that she believed Acosta needed to serve some jail time.

Nothing, she said, has been the same since the crash. She called the death of her husband unexpected, unnecessary and shocking.

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“When he killed my husband, he took away my emotional support, he took away my best friend, he took away my soulmate,” Vernia Lee Harrell said.

“He was doing nothing wrong that day,” she later added. “He was doing absolutely nothing, and died, for what?”

She said she wished that Acosta will never again work in law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Candice Holden, Terry Harrell’s daughter, said she did not believe that the punishment was fair.

Said Holden: “His life was so much more than two years of probation.”

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