City State: Morning Roundup

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Maryland gay-marriage debate begins in undecided House; Johnson wants installment plan for his $100K fine; Huguely defense: Love died of suffocation; D.C. police to restore online crime map; Thomas whistle-blower among those vying for his Ward 5 seat; Funeral services today for Alexandria paramedic; Sentencing today for Ehrlich campaign manager.

The Maryland House will begin floor debate today on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s same-sex-marriage bill, opening discussion in the chamber that likely represents the bill’s largest hurdle toward becoming law. Two House committees voted Tuesday to advance the bill to the floor, where lawmakers agreed to postpone discussion until Thursday, allowing opponents to gather amendment proposals and supporters to prepare their arguments.
The bill is expected to pass the Senate but has uncertain prospects in the 141-member House, reports David Hill of The Washington Times.

Prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday, a few days before former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson’s 87-month prison sentence is scheduled to begin, requesting that he pay the $100,000 fine up front rather than in installments after his release. The motion comes as a response to Johnson’s own filing, requesting that he be allowed to defer payment of the entire fine until he completes his prison term on federal extortion charges, according to Andrea Noble of The Times.

The murder trial for former University of Virginia lacrosse player George W. Huguely resumes today with the defense presenting its case. A doctor testifying for the defense on Wednesday said victim Yeardley Love died from suffocating face down in her pillow. The defense acknowledged in opening arguments Feb. 6 that a physical confrontation took place but said Mr. Huguely did not murder his former girlfriend, according to The Times’ Meredith Somers.

The Metropolitan Police Department’s online crime-mapping technology, which gives users real-time access to crime statistics citywide and in their neighborhoods, is expected to be back online this week after a six-week hiatus, police said. The removal of the information from the police department’s website has limited residents’ access to crime data at a time that police officials have warned robberies are on the rise in the District of Columbia, according to The Times.

A Washington Republican who blew the whistle on D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr.’s stealing from the city is among those who have filed petitions to appear on the ballot in the special election to replace the legislator, who resigned from his Ward 5 seat, according to The Times.

Funeral services today for an Alexandria paramedic who was killed in the line of duty last week are expected to close several Alexandria streets. Joshua Weissman, 33, died when he fell off an overpass on Interstate 395 while responding to a call. The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. at Beth El Hebrew Congregation on Seminary Road. A burial will follow at Ivy Hill Cemetery on King Street. City schools are letting out early, and officials are warning of massive traffic tie-ups near Seminary Road, according to the Associated Press.

The campaign manager of former Maryland Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced today for his role in an Election Day 2010 robocall that prosecutors said was designed to suppress the black vote by encouraging people to stay home from the polls. A Baltimore Circuit Court jury in December found Paul Schurick guilty of four criminal counts, including election fraud. Mr. Schurick, 55, faces up to 12 years in prison, according to the Baltimore Sun.

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