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Trial underway for firefighters charged with assaulting female firefighters at fire scene

Two female career firefighters were first on scene; they said a fire captain blocked their entrance and forcibly removed one of them from the porch

By FireRescue1 Staff

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — A trial is underway for two volunteer firefighters charged with assaulting a Prince George’s County firefighter at the scene of a house fire.

WTOP reported that Capt. Christopher Kelly and Jeffrey Miller, with West Lanham Hills Volunteer Company 28, are charged with second-degree assault, interfering with a firefighter and misconduct in office. The incident stems from a house fire on Dec. 8, 2015.

Two female career firefighters from Prince George’s County Fire/EMS were first on scene; they said Capt. Kelly tried to block them from entering the burning home and shoved Lt. Katherine Johnson off the porch.

During the trial this week, the defense attorneys tried to discredit firefighter-paramedic Samantha Satterfield’s testimony, saying it was inconsistent with her written statement submitted for the department's investigation.

While Satterfield reported in 2015 that she saw Johnson being “forcibly removed” from the porch, in court she said only recalled seeing her colleague getting off the ground, according to WTOP.

Johnson described being hit "two or three" times on the chest by Capt. Kelly; a picture presented in the trial showed red bruising on her chest.

An email submitted into evidence said Johnson was thrown off the porch while grabbing a doorframe and hand railing trying to "hold on for dear life." It also detailed how the encounter shouldn't have happened, "to a girl, much less an officer."

The trial is expected to last until Thursday.

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