On this day, Jan. 6, in 1983, a 20-year-old man on trial for the slaying of an off-duty Prince George's County policeman shocked the jury by admitting to the killing on the witness stand. "I want to let you know that I am guilty. I killed him," Harlow Sails confessed. On Feb. 8, 1982, officer Raymond Hubbard was shopping at the Iverson Mall when he saw a jewelry store robbery. Hubbard drew his weapon, but did not see Sails and was shot five times.

By the time of Sails' trial, three of his accomplices already had been sentenced to life for the crime.

"I was lying to you before," Sails told the jury. "I wanted to come forward before. But the state didn't offer me a deal like they did everyone else."

Sails was sentenced to 70 years. He remains in a Maryland prison.

Scott McCabe