- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 24, 2006



Woman charged with abusing horses

A woman who authorities say neglected dozens of horses on her Western Maryland farm has been charged with 73 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and four felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Barbara P. Reinken, 61, declined to comment on the charges, which came nearly three weeks after the Humane Society of Washington County and the county sheriff’s office executed a search-and-seizure warrant at her farm near Sharpsburg, about 60 miles west of Baltimore.

Miss Reinken previously denied mistreating the animals.

The charges issued Friday carry maximum penalties of 21 years in prison and $93,000 in fines. A trial is set for Feb. 22.

The charges stem from the condition of the animals that authorities seized on her farm.

One of the 74 horses found at Miss Reinken’s Windrinker Farm died after it was removed from the property. Investigators found the remains of 10 other horses on the property, including two that had recently died.


Murder suspect wants confession tossed

A defendant charged with first-degree murder wants a judge to throw out his purported statement to police that he stabbed the victim only seven times, not 32.

A Hagerstown Police Department detective testified Friday that Marshall Adams, 26, made the comment to him Nov. 29 after learning prosecutors planned to seek a sentence of life without parole if he is convicted of killing Leo Morris.

Assistant Public Defender Stephen Musselman asked Judge Kenneth Long to rule the statement inadmissible because his client was denied his right to have his attorney present when he was served with the sentencing paperwork.

Mr. Morris was found fatally stabbed April 13 at an apartment complex. Police say he was stabbed during an argument over payment for cocaine.


State delegate in mayoral race

Delegate Jill Carter, Baltimore Democrat, plans to enter next year’s race for city mayor.

Mrs. Carter, 43, expects to formally file as soon as next month, according to the Baltimore Sun. She would be the fifth candidate in the race.

City Council President Sheila Dixon, a Democrat serving out the remainder of Gov.-elect Martin O’Malley’s term next year, has announced her intention to run for a full four-year term.

Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, Baltimore Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway, and former high school principal Andrey L. Bundley also have announced plans to run.

Two other council members also are considering a run, but neither has declared his candidacy.

There is speculation about ex-congressman and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume running, but he has not announced a bid.


Christian school robbed of electronic equipment

Thousands of dollars worth of electronic equipment was stolen from the Highland View Academy, according to the state police.

The burglar also took cash and 20 packets of instant noodles from the Christian school, police said.

The incident occurred between Friday and yesterday morning, when it was reported.

Anyone with information should call Trooper 1st Class A.L. Smith at 301/739-2101.



Fire kills woman, injures grandson

A 79-year-old woman died Friday in a fire that destroyed a Chesapeake home.

Authorities have not released the name of the woman, whose 13-year-old grandson was injured in the fire.

The boy escaped from the burning home. Investigators said the fire was caused by unattended cooking.


Immigration fraud draws prison time

A man who pleaded guilty to arranging more than 100 phony marriages in an immigration-fraud scheme has been sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Prosecutors say Samuel Acquah, of Bowie, admitted pocketing $200,000 from the fake marriages, according to The Washington Post. He pleaded guilty in October. The sentence is one of the longest given in the investigation of one of the region’s biggest immigration scams.

Another man identified by prosecutors as a ringleader, Mark Owusu, was sentenced to almost two years.

Investigators say the ring arranged about 1,000 fake marriages between immigrants from Ghana and United States citizens. The immigrants would pay as much as $6,000 to be introduced to someone who would pretend to be their spouse and would then be coached on how to lie to immigration inspectors to make the marriage seem real.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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