- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2002

A federal magistrate will decide today whether to free a Silver Spring woman charged with driving drunk and killing a U.S. Park Police officer last weekend or hold her to await criminal trial.
This afternoon's detention hearing will be held at U.S. District Court in Greenbelt before U.S. Magistrate Charles B. Day. It follows Monday's initial appearance of Jovada Welch, 20, who faces charges of driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Officer Hakim A. Farthing, 28, who was struck and killed early Saturday morning.
Officer Farthing, who served almost two years as a Park Police officer, was struck at about 3:30 a.m. just outside the District near the top of the southbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway ramp that leads to New York Avenue NE, U.S. Park Police said. Officer Farthing had stopped to assist passengers in another accident.
Officials say Miss Welch drove her Pontiac Sunfire through flares and orange cones that marked the accident scene before striking Officer Farthing.
"There was an odor of alcohol," said Sgt. Scott Fear, a U.S. Park Police spokesman.
Miss Welch's two assistant federal public defenders, Paula Xinis and Susan Bauer, both declined comment yesterday.
Assistant U.S. attorneys David Ira Salem and Hollis Weisman are prosecuting Miss Welch.
Mr. Salem said yesterday the government has not yet decided what sort of detention it will seek.
Results of the blood-alcohol test administered to Miss Welch on Saturday are not yet available, Sgt. Fear and Mr. Salem said.
They also said Miss Welch was belligerent when confronted by park police officers at the bottom of the closed highway ramp. "She was not cooperative with the officers' commands," Mr. Salem said.
Neither official would say where Miss Welch had been drinking beforehand, but Mr. Salem said it is likely that the U.S. Attorney's Office will seek a grand jury within 30 days of the detention hearing.
The viewing for Officer Farthing will be from 7 to 9 p.m. this evening at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield. A memorial service will be held there at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Immediately after the memorial service, a police procession will leave from the church and make its way into the District, where it will pass by U.S. Park Police headquarters on Ohio Drive SW.
At 7:30 a.m. Saturday, a procession will leave Springfield for Philadelphia, where a viewing will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, when the funeral service will begin.
Officer Farthing will be buried in Philadelphia, where he was born and raised. He is survived by a 3-year-old son.

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