Maximum Sentence for Officer Thyne’s Killer

[NEWPORT NEWS – JULY 14, 2023] Today, the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office successfully secured a 50-year prison sentence for Vernon E. Green, the man responsible for the tragic death of Newport News Police Officer Katherine M. “Katie” Thyne. The sentencing was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Christopher Papile, who emphasized that Green had shown no remorse for his actions that led to Officer Thyne’s untimely death on January 23, 2020.

Officer Katherine M. Thyne, a devoted and beloved member of the Newport News Police Department, lost her life during a routine investigation at the Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park. Green, 41, drove off in his parked car while Officer Thyne and another officer were attempting to apprehend him.

The loss of Officer Thyne deeply affected her family, friends, colleagues, and the entire Newport News community. Her death marked the first time in 25 years that a Newport News police officer was killed in the line of duty and was a somber reminder of the risks law enforcement officers face daily to keep our communities safe.

Judge Papile, in delivering the sentence, noted that Green had shown no regret for his actions and failed to acknowledge the impact of his actions on Officer Thyne’s family and the community. The court recognized the gravity of the case and the devastating impact it had on Officer Thyne’s five-year-old daughter, who was only two years old at the time of her mother’s death. The court heard heartbreaking statements from Officer Thyne’s family members, who spoke of the vibrant and loving person she was and the tremendous loss they experienced.

The Commonwealth asserted that Green deserved the maximum sentence due to his complete disregard for Officer Thyne’s life. Despite sentencing guidelines suggesting a term of 16 to 28 years, the Court agreed with the Commonwealth’s request and imposed the maximum 50-year sentence.

“Even though it was the maximum penalty, I still don’t think there is any sentence that can soothe the pain of this family for the loss they suffered. My office extends its sympathy and support to Officer Thyne’s family, friends, and colleagues including the many dedicated police officers with whom she served.”  -Howard E. Gwynn, Commonwealth’s Attorney.

While we can never undo the pain caused by this tragedy, today’s sentence is a testament to our city’s commitment to seek justice for victims and their families.

This case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Dennis Guthinger and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney James Patterson on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney
Phone: 757-926-7443
2501 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor
Newport News, VA 23607

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The Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecutes criminal cases that occur within the City of Newport News, on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth. The elected Commonwealth’s Attorney is Mr. Howard E. Gwynn.