- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006



Two teens arrested in shootings

Two teenagers were arrested yesterday in connection with drive-by shootings that critically injured one person and damaged several homes last month in Sterling.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said the teens, both 16-year-old boys, shot at five homes July 19 — striking one man who was sleeping in his bedroom.

The man remains in critical, but stable, condition.

Authorities think the teens carried out the shootings with stolen weapons after being kicked out of a gang.

The two teens face a string of charges, including malicious wounding, burglary, auto theft and five counts of reckless use of a firearm.

They are being held at the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center.


Former DEA agent sentenced for lying

A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent was sentenced yesterday to two years probation and fined $7,500 for lying to investigators about a sexual encounter with an informant.

William Carter Harden, 46, of Richmond also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

Harden was sentenced in Richmond federal court. He faced a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to prosecutors, Harden demanded oral sex from the informant in a Richmond-area motel room in July 2005.

The informant has testified that she complied because she was afraid of Harden, who maintains the sex was consensual.

Three months later, the woman recorded a telephone conversation with Harden about the sexual activity.

Prosecutors said Harden initially denied having sex with the woman and tried to orchestrate a cover-up at the motel, but eventually admitted to the encounter to investigators.


Sheriff to probe distribution of tabloid

A racist tabloid has been showing up in more areas of Virginia.

Caroline County Sheriff Anthony A. Lippa Jr. said at least one Bowling Green resident reported that a copy of the White Patriot Leader was dropped at his home over the weekend.

Copies of the same publication were distributed in South Boston and Culpeper last month.

Sheriff Lippa said his office is looking into the matter, and he said the distribution could amount to littering.

The publisher of the publication is Glenn Miller of Springfield, Mo., who told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Monday that he has about 200 people who distribute the newspaper in about 28 states.

Mr. Miller, who is running as a write-in candidate for Congress in Missouri, said he has sent 25,000 copies to Virginia in the past six months through people who order bulk shipments.


‘Very old’ remains found in cave

Authorities in Washington County said they do not think bones found in a cave over the weekend belong to any recent missing person in the area.

Authorities spent Monday scouring the cave for human remains after spelunkers discovered pieces of a skeleton the night before.

Washington County Sheriff’s Capt. Jack Davidson said the bone fragments included pieces of a leg bone, vertebrae and the top of a skull.

They were found by a Bristol man and his friends as they explored a small cave between Bristol and Abingdon.

The spelunkers put the fragments in a plastic food container and called police.

Capt. Davidson said only a small portion of the skeleton was found and the bones appeared to be “very old.”

He said they could not tell whether the remains were from an adult or a child, male or female.

The fragments will be sent to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke to determine their age.

Capt. Davidson said it could be months before police have results.


Boy, 3, bitten by rabid fox

A fox that bit a 3-year-old boy tested positive for rabies, health officials said.

It is the seventh case of an animal being identified with rabies in Isle of Wight County this year after five cases were reported all of last year.

Other counties in Virginia also have reported a spike in rabies cases.

The boy was playing with an older child in a sandbox in the family’s yard last week when the fox bit the young boy on both of his forearms, said Isle of Wight animal control chief Ed Sullivan.

The child’s mother, who was outside pruning flowers, grabbed both children and took them inside the house by going through the garage.

The fox followed them, but the mother closed the door and trapped the fox in the garage, Mr. Sullivan said.

The boys’ mother called animal control officials, who killed the animal.

Health officials received confirmation Saturday that the fox tested positive for rabies, Jay Duell of the Isle of Wight Health Department said Monday.

The boy will receive five shots within the next 28 days, Mr. Duell said.

He was not sure why rabies cases have increased.



Boy recovering from gunshot wound

A 12-year-old boy was in stable condition yesterday after his younger cousin accidentally shot him with a handgun Monday, police said.

Annapolis police think an 8-year-old was showing the gun to the 12-year-old in an Annapolis home when it discharged.

The younger boy told police he did not know the gun was loaded.

The wounded youngster staggered outside where neighbors had gathered after hearing the gunshot. The younger boy hid the gun in the back yard, where police recovered it.

Police said they are treating the shooting as accidental, but that the owner of the gun may face charges.


Man arrested in stabbings

A man was arrested yesterday on charges of stabbing three persons in a southside home, Frederick police said.

Sergio DeJesus Martinez-Melada, 31, was arrested about 2:45 a.m. in the 400 block of Center Street.

None of the injuries is thought to be life-threatening, but police think the Mr. Martinez-Melada intended to kill one of the residents, with whom he had a prior relationship.

He faces multiple charges, including attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, burglary and resisting arrest.


Two firms hired to check cell locks

Prison officials say they have hired two firms to help examine and, if necessary, repair each of the 800 cell locks at the Maryland House of Correction after two inmates freed themselves and fatally stabbed a correctional officer.

A Public Safety and Correctional Services spokeswoman said investigators haven’t determined whether the lock was unlocked or jammed, but that all cell-door locks were being checked for problems.

The 128-year-old, maximum-security prison in Jessup remains on indefinite lockdown with the 1,066 inmates confined to the cells, one week after Officer David McGuinn’s death. At least 50 inmates known to be violent or gang-affiliated have been moved to other institutions since the slaying.


Body of swimmer pulled from river

Authorities recovered the body of a Cumberland man from the Potomac River’s North Branch yesterday, one day after he disappeared while swimming.

A state police helicopter crew spotted the body of Gerald J. Hansford, 49, at about 10:40 a.m., lodged on rocks in the middle of the river about a quarter-mile downstream from where he went in, city police said.

The body showed no signs of foul play but an autopsy will be performed, police said.

Mr. Hansford was among four men who entered the water Monday evening after being told by a city worker to leave a boat ramp where they had been drinking and listening to loud music, the Cumberland Times-News reported.

He was reported missing at 8:25 p.m., about 45 minutes after entering the water.


Man fatally shot by DNR police officer

A man was fatally shot Monday at a Talbot County pier by a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) police officer.

Thomas Samuel Sherwood Jr., 49, died on the pier at Tar Creek after an altercation with Officer 1st Class Hubert F. Brohawn.

Mr. Sherwood charged the officer with a car jack and did not heed warnings to stop, DNR police said. Officer Brohawn, a four-year veteran of the force, shot Mr. Sherwood with a .40-caliber pistol.

Police said Mr. Sherwood was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officer Brohawn was placed on administrative leave.

Sgt. Ken Turner, a spokesman for the department, said Mr. Sherwood was a commercial waterman who was working Monday and was just returning to the pier when the altercation occurred. The officer was on routine patrol.

DNR policemen typically monitor the catches of commercial fishermen and check for safety requirements on recreational boats.

Sgt. Turner would not say what the argument between Officer Brohawn and Mr. Sherwood was about. He also said he could not say whether there were witnesses or what Mr. Sherwood was harvesting.

It was the first fatal shooting involving a DNR police officer in recent decades, Sgt. Turner said.


Fire at zoo declared accidental

A fire that killed nearly 100 exotic reptiles, birds and monkeys at the Tri-State Zoological Park in March was accidental, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office said yesterday.

A faulty electric service wire ignited floor joists, starting a blaze that spread throughout a building that served as a winter home for warm-weather creatures, the agency said.

Losses to the structure and its contents exceeded $400,000, the fire marshal’s office said.

Zoo owner Robert Candy said yesterday that he never closed the zoo after the March 29 fire.

At least 50 other animals, including lions and tigers, that were kept outside survived the fire, and Mr. Candy said he has acquired more birds and reptiles, bringing the total number of exhibited animals to about 100.

He said the zoo is not charging admission this season but it is accepting donations.

This is the fourth year of operation for the 16-acre zoo that Mr. Candy and his wife, Donna, established.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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