- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2006



Boy, 12, shotby playmate

A 12-year-old boy was shot in the neck at his home yesterday, Annapolis police said.

Police said the boy was apparently accidentally shot by an 8-year-old playmate about 4 p.m. in the 900 block of Central Street.

The boy was flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

His injuries were described as being serious but non-life-threatening.

Police think the gun belongs to the boy’s mother.


Amnesia claimedin officer’s slaying

A state prison inmate charged with fatally shooting a correctional officer in January has claimed amnesia, according to a document admitted as evidence yesterday.

Brandon T. Morris, 20, told a Maryland State Police investigator in a tape-recorded statement that he went to sleep shackled to a Washington County Hospital bed in Hagerstown.

He told the investigator that he woke up outdoors in his boxer shorts about six miles away with a gun in his hand, surrounded by police.

Morris claimed to have no memory of getting free from the shackle, seizing Officer Jeffery A. Wroten’s gun, shooting him in the head, taking a hospital visitor captive, hijacking a taxi cab, robbing the driver and forcing him to lead police on a chase into nearby Pennsylvania, where the cab crashed.

Morris ran back into Maryland before he was captured.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright admitted the statement as evidence in Morris’ murder case after denying a defense motion to suppress it.

Assistant Public Defender Eric A. Reed had argued the statement was not freely and voluntarily given because Morris was suffering from physical injuries, psychological distress and the possible effects of post-surgery drugs.

A trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 23.


Four injuredin two shootings

Four persons were wounded in two shootings in Landover Sunday night, Prince George’s County police said.

The first shooting occurred about 9 p.m. outside William Paca Elementary School.

Police said a masked man fired a shotgun at several men who were walking to their cars after playing football.

Police said three persons were wounded, but the injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The second shooting happened about 9:30 p.m., about four miles away.

In that incident, two men tried to steal a car at gunpoint from a customer pumping gasoline.

Police said the customer struggled with the men and the gun went off, wounding one of the suspects.

His condition is unknown.


Woman recoveringfrom burns

A woman remains in critical condition from second- and third-degree burns after she was doused with gasoline and set on fire by her boyfriend early Saturday, authorities said.

A spokesman for Washington Hospital Center said Freda Edwards’ condition likely will remain critical for the remainder of the week.

Miss Edwards, 39, has been hospitalized with burns to her face, neck and arms since the incident.

Anthony M. Willoughby, 40, is charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder, malicious burning and assault in an attack on his girlfriend.

Mr. Willoughby is being held without bond in Prince George’s County’s detention center.

Miss Edwards is the second Prince George’s County woman to be burned in such an attack in less than a year.

Yvette Cade, 32, was burned by her estranged husband in a similar way in October.

Roger Hargrave, 34, is serving a life prison sentence in that case.


Man chargedin shooting death

Hagerstown police have charged a man in the shooting death of a local woman yesterday morning.

Police said Demetrius McDaniels, 27, of Hagerstown, was charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in the death of 20-year-old Trisiviah Rodriguez.

Her body was found on a downtown sidewalk near the intersection of East Franklin and North Locust streets about 12:40 a.m.

Police think the shooting happened during an altercation involving a group of people.


Funeral setfor slain officer

Funeral arrangements have been announced for David McGuinn, the correctional officer fatally stabbed last week by inmates at the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup.

A viewing is planned for tomorrow at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey.

The funeral will be held there at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Officer McGuinn will be buried at Atlantic City Cemetery.

Plans for a memorial service in the Baltimore area are under way.


Fewer childrenface lead risk

Fewer Maryland children were found to have elevated blood lead levels, although six counties had small increases, according to a state study.

Of the 99,148 children tested last year, 1.3 percent had elevated blood lead levels, compared with 1.7 percent in 2004, according to a report released last week by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Increases in the six counties were small, said Alvin Bowles, program manager for the department’s lead poisoning and prevention program.

Baltimore County, for example, had 110 cases, two more than in 2004.

Increased enforcement of Maryland’s Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing law, “increased awareness by parents and property owners of the hazards of lead exposure and improved maintenance of rental housing” were credited by the report for the drop.

“The trend that we’ve had for the last 10 to 12 years is continuing,” Mr. Bowles said.

“We’re finding that less children are having elevated blood levels, and that’s good news.”

Lead poisoning in children, caused by ingestion of lead in paint chips, dust or water, can lead to developmental problems and even death.

In Baltimore, where most of the cases are concentrated, there was a 28 percent decrease in the number of children whose tests turned up 10 or more micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in 2005, compared with the previous year.

Meanwhile, the number of children with 20 micrograms or more dropped 52 percent.

“I think it’s definitely a sign of continued progress for the city, but we still have a lot of kids getting poisoned,” Baltimore Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein said. “So it’s not ‘mission accomplished.’”

Of Baltimore’s 53,626 children younger than 6 years old, 17,943 were tested last year.

The city is now shifting resources to prevention, Dr. Sharfstein said.


Man sentencedto 60 years in slaying

A Baltimore judge yesterday sentenced a man to 60 years in prison for the murder of a teen at Mondawmin Mall last year.

Jordan Morgan,19, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for shooting Abdul-bari Muhammad, 17, in the head. Abdul-bari was shot in the parking lot of the mall.

Morgan was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder charge. He was sentenced to 20 more years for a charge of using a handgun in an act of violence.

The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office said Morgan shot Abdul-bari during a robbery attempt. The office said the shooting happened before the victim and two other young men could comply with Morgan’s demands.



FEMA denies aidfor flood damage

The Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday denied a request for individual assistance for those affected by flooding, mudslides and tornadoes June 23, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine requested the assistance for the counties of Alleghany, Arlington, Augusta, Botetourt, Montgomery and Fairfax, and the cities of Alexandria and Salem.

The program makes grants, low interest loans, unemployment assistance and disaster housing assistance available to homeowners and renters.

Earlier this month, President Bush approved federal assistance for the state government and nine local governments to cover eligible government and private nonprofit costs for damage to critical infrastructure, debris removal and related services.


Trial exhibits postedon court Web site

More than 1,200 exhibits from the Zacarias Moussaoui trial have been posted by a federal court in Alexandria.

The exhibits on the court’s Web site (www.vaed.uscourts.gov) include photographs of the carnage of the September 11 attacks and tape-recorded final phone calls from victims in the World Trade Center.

Some of the exhibits are graphic, leading the court to mark 18 of them “discretion advised.”

The U.S. District Court in Alexandria said this is the first criminal case for which a federal court has provided access to all exhibits online.

Other trial exhibits range from motel receipts for the September 11 hijackers to photographs of the U.S. flight schools where some of the terrorists learned to pilot commercial jets.

In a sentencing trial this year, a jury found Moussaoui directly responsible for deaths that occurred on September 11, but declined to give him the death penalty.


Man sentenced to lifedrug-deal shooting

A Richmond man who fatally shot and killed a man during a drug deal was sentenced yesterday to life in prison plus 40 years, federal prosecutors said.

Darryl Boynes Jr., 21, was convicted in February on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, distribution of cocaine base and murder in furtherance of a drug crime stemming from the October 2003 incident.

According to evidence presented at trial, Boynes killed William Jenkins, who attempted to run away without paying for about $20 of crack cocaine.

Another drug dealer who helped Boynes kill Mr. Jenkins was killed a few weeks later, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg said.


Campus readiesfor ‘corpse’ plant

One of Virginia Tech’s rare “corpse plants” is ready to bloom this week.

The scientific name of the huge, smelly plant is Amorphophallus titanum and it emits a powerful foul, deathlike odor.

The blooms last only one to three days, and the stinking odor only lasts the first eight hours after it blooms.

A flowering stalk can be seven to 12 feet in height and three to four feet in diameter.

The species only blooms every two to five years after reaching maturity. These are the only two corpse plants in Virginia.


Specialist namedinterim UVa. dean

Maurice Apprey, a University of Virginia professor of psychiatric medicine and the medical school’s former associate dean for diversity, has been appointed interim dean of African-American affairs, school officials said yesterday.

Mr. Apprey, 58, replaces M. Rick Turner, who retired after serving in the position since 1988.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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