- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

Police searched yesterday for a suburban Washington woman whose husband was shot in his home this week, police say, by a family friend who is a State Department employee.
Authorities wanted to question Elsa Newman about a reported threat she made to hire someone to kill her estranged husband, Arlen Slobodow.
A masked intruder shot Mr. Slobodow in the leg Monday as he slept in his Bethesda home. He told Montgomery County police he ripped the assailant's mask off to discover it was Margery Landry.
Miss Landry, 48, a veteran State Department Foreign Service officer and godmother to the two sons of Mr. Slobodow and Mrs. Newman, was charged Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder. She was denied bond.
Mr. Slobodow was hospitalized after the shooting in stable condition, but police wouldn't release any information on his condition or whereabouts yesterday.
"We do have reason to believe there is someone at large who might wish to do him harm," said police spokeswoman Lucille Baur. She did not mention any specific suspects.
Mr. Slobodow was sleeping with his 5-year-old son at 4:30 a.m. Monday when he was awakened by the intruder, who was trying to push him off the bed.
Two shots were fired, and Mr. Slobodow felt a searing pain run through his leg. He said he struggled with the intruder and pulled off the ski mask, revealing that Miss Landry was his attacker.
He reached for a phone, but told police Miss Landry grabbed it first and beat him with it. Mr. Slobodow managed to crawl downstairs to the kitchen and tried to dial 911. He told police Miss Landry attacked him again while he dialed, biting him on the hand before she fled.
Police said they found a 9 mm handgun with the serial number scratched off in the bedroom, two shell casings, a ski mask and a pair of latex gloves that Mr. Slobodow said his attacker wore.
No else was injured in the assault.
A State Department spokeswoman said Miss Landry worked at the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the office of children's issues. She has worked for the agency since 1980. The spokeswoman would not comment on whether the charges affected her employment status.
Calls to Miss Landry's house were not immediately returned.
County prosecutors said Miss Landry and Mrs. Newman were close friends and former college roommates. At Miss Landry's bond hearing Tuesday, Assistant State's Attorney Tom Eldridge said Miss Landry and Mrs. Newman may have planned to flee the country with the children.
Mrs. Newman and Mr. Slobodow were involved in a long divorce, and Mrs. Newman filed a protective order against Mr. Slobodow accusing him of abuse, The Washington Post reported. Mr. Slobodow denies the charge.
Prosecutors said yesterday they didn't have a concrete motive, but State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler said they were suspicious because of a report made to authorities in September by Mrs. Newman's attorney about the reported threat.
"The ex-wife says, 'If I don't get custody of these kids I'm going to have the kids killed and you killed,'" Mr. Gansler said. "A few months later her closest friend comes into the room shooting a gun."
Mr. Newman had full custody of the children.
His attorney did not immediately return calls.

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