A Dauphin County judge acquitted Sonya McKnight after agreeing with her attorney’s argument that prosecutors did not present sufficient evidence against her.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — After a trial of less than two days, a Harrisburg magisterial district judge was acquitted Tuesday of charges she interfered with her son’s arrest last year.
Magisterial Judge Sonya McKnight was found not guilty before the charges even made it to the jury.
Instead, McKnight’s attorney, Brian McMonagle, asked Dauphin County Senior Judge Stephen B. Lieberman for a judgement of acquittal, arguing that the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General had done nothing to prove she did anything wrong on the night her son was pulled over in Harrisburg.
Lieberman agreed, and acquitted McKnight on charges of tampering with evidence, official oppression, and obstruction of law.
“It was an honor defending Judge McKnight,” McMonagle said in an email to FOX43. “She is a woman of great faith and that faith never wavered in the midst of great adversity. Today the system worked.”
McKnight was initially charged by the attorney general’s office for her alleged interference in a traffic stop involving her son, Kevin Baltimore, on the night of Feb. 22, 2020 in Harrisburg.
An investigation by the attorney general’s office determined McKnight used her position in an attempt to influence police as they placed Baltimore under arrest for an outstanding warrant and drug charges.
McKnight also retrieved a pill bottle from her son’s vehicle, claiming it was his blood pressure medication.
Investigators alleged that McKnight had prevented police from examining the bottle’s contents.
McKnight was formally charged by the attorney general’s office in December 2020. She was placed on administrative leave one day later, but has since won her bid for re-election in May’s primary.