- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2006


MS-13 leader gets 30 years for attack

A former MS-13 gang leader was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday for stabbing a member of a rival Hispanic group in Northwest.

Juan Carlos Rivas-Moreiera, 25, of Silver Spring, was convicted of assault charges in February in D.C. Superior Court, but was acquitted of kidnapping and assault with intent to kill.

His conviction followed two previous trials in 2005 that ended in hung juries.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein applauded prose-cutors for their persistence.

“Their efforts demonstrate our intolerance for those gangsters who seek to wage their turf wars on the streets of our city,” he said.

According to evidence presented in the case, Rivas-Moreiera and two others attacked a member of the rival Mara R gang in May 2001, stabbing him in the heart. They were seeking revenge for a previous attack against Rivas-Moreiera.

In handing down a 30-year sentence, Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo exceeded the District’s sentencing guidelines, which called for five to 16 years.

Rivas-Moreiera is among the members of MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, who were indicted on federal racketeering charges in August. The case says the gang members were involved in murder, kidnapping, robbery and other crimes.

Man found shot near middle school

A man suffering from gunshot wounds was discovered just after 6 a.m. yesterday about a block from Garnett Patterson Middle School. The school opened on time.

Police said a man was shot in the back near the intersection of 10th and V streets Northwest. He was taken to a hospital.

Runaway girl found on crashed bus

A bus driver from Richmond was injured early yesterday morning in a crash when the charter bus crashed into a retaining wall near Virginia Avenue and Fifth Street Southeast.

Eight passengers were aboard the bus. No one was seriously injured.

When police responded to the crash, they found a teenage girl who had been reported as a runaway from Richmond. She was being returned to her family.



Wildcat(s) spotted near school, housing

Authorities were scouring the home to Air Force One yesterday looking for a wildcat reported on the loose.

Two residents on the base reported seeing the animal in the morning, said Capt. Herb McConnell, a spokesman for Andrews Air Force Base.

One resident described seeing a brown, spotted animal, and another person said the cat was black, Capt. McConnell said. It was not clear whether they saw the same animal or what kind of cat it was.

The wildcat was seen roaming around a commissary and housing area on the base, officials said. Prince George’s County police and animal control officers were assisting in the search.

“We’re looking for tracks, we’re looking from the air,” said Donna Wilson of the county Department of Environmental Resources. She said authorities had not seen any sign of the animal.

Parents at three schools in the area were asked to pick up students who normally walk home, she said. Those who travel by bus were dismissed early.

If the animal were found, Miss Wilson said, it likely would be shot with a tranquilizer.


Man found guilty a third time for killing

The third trial for a Baltimore man accused of the 1991 killing of a neighbor in a Charles Village apartment building ended this week with another conviction.

A jury on Wednesday found Mohammad Biglari, 62, guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of Barbara Halsey. Prosecutors said Miss Halsey was bound, then shot three times and stabbed.

Biglari’s sentencing is scheduled for June 15.

His two previous convictions in the case were overturned on appeal. A 1994 conviction was thrown out because of an evidence issue. The 2002 conviction was overturned because Biglari had been removed from the courtroom for disruptive conduct while acting as his own lawyer and wasn’t allowed to give a closing argument.


Girl, 2, drowns in backyard pool

A 2-year-old girl accidentally drowned yesterday when she fell onto the cover of a swimming pool.

Anne Arundel County police officers went to the home on Latrobe Drive after relatives called for help. They found the girl lying in a puddle of rainwater.

She was pronounced dead at Anne Arundel Medical Center.


Faculty votes down curriculum change

A proposed curriculum change at Salisbury University was defeated in a close faculty vote.

The proposal would have changed the campus from a credit-based curriculum, requiring 120 credit-hours to graduate, to a course-based curriculum, in which students would take 32 courses to get a degree. The change would have meant most students would take four classes a semester instead of five.

The faculty voted 159-147 against the change in ballots collected Tuesday.

University administrators argued that the change would allow students to dig deeper into their fields of study and benefit from closer mentoring by their professors. Opponents said it would make transferring to and from the school difficult and could reduce students’ freedom to take electives.

Maarten Pereboom, chair-man of the history department and a supporter of the curric-ulum change, told the Salisbury Daily Times that “it was important to have a substantial faculty buy-in. We clearly don’t have that at this point.”

Shooting suspect kills self on I-95

A man wanted on a charge of attempted second-degree murder in Maryland fatally shot himself yesterday during a standoff with authorities on Interstate 95 near Roanoke Rapids, N.C., authorities said.

A chase began shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday in Virginia after authorities realized the man was wanted, Roanoke Rapids police Chief Greg Lawson said. The man then put a gun to his head and led authorities on a chase.

Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin identified the man as Lawrence Lewis Wright, 33, of Bertie County. Investigators say he went to Maryland, shot his 37-year-old wife in Cecil County and then headed toward his home in North Carolina.

The woman was treated and released from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Cecil County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Bernard Chiominto said. Her name was not released.

Highway Patrol troopers stopped him on the shoulder of I-95 in Halifax County.



Woman avoids jail in phony bomb threat

A woman whose phony bomb threat brought an entire county to a standstill earlier this year will not spend time in jail for the offense.

Patricia Murphy, 50, faced misdemeanor charges of making a false report to a police officer in connection with the Feb. 9 threat.

Police said the former New Kent County school transportation employee called that morning to say there was a bomb on one of the buses. It caused school officials to pull all buses off the road temporarily.

Miss Murphy had told offi-cials that someone did call her with a threat, but that fact was difficult to prove or disprove.

She will have to pay about $1,300 to the sheriff’s office in restitution.

Bomb-sniffing dogs dispatched to buses never found any explosives.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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