Man charged in Newport News officer's death waives right to preliminary hearing; Capital murder charge amended to second-degree murder

Vernon Green II
Posted at 11:58 AM, May 25, 2021

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Newport News Police Officer Katie Thyne was tragically killed in the line of duty in January 2020.

Vernon Green II was charged with murder in the case after Thyne was dragged during a traffic stop in the 1400 block of 16th Street. Thyne suffered multiple injuries and was taken to a local hospital, where she later died.

Green has faced both federal and state charges stemming from the incident. In October 2020, Green pleaded guilty to two federal charges. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana, a felony due to his prior felony drug conviction.

Green was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for those charges.

Tuesday in state court, Green waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his capital murder charge for Officer Thyne's death was amended to second-degree murder.

Two charges were also nolle prossed on Tuesday. Those charges were eluding police and a marijuana charge.

Sixteen people were called to testify on Tuesday. The case will go to a grand jury on June 14.

Green’s attorney told News 3 that this is “not an admission of guilt” when addressing the waiver of a preliminary hearing.

Green faces up to 40 years on the murder charge and up to five years on the felony hit-and-run charge.

A three-day jury trial set for November 15, 16 and 17, 2022.

Related: Man sentenced for possessing firearm, marijuana during traffic stop that killed Newport News Police officer