- The Washington Times - Friday, July 14, 2006



Former federal official shoots son, self

A former Commerce Department official killed his 12-year-old son and himself early yesterday following an apparent domestic dispute, Fairfax County police said.

Police found the bodies of William Lash III, 45, a law professor at George Mason University and a former assistant secretary of commerce, and his son William Lash IV inside a first-floor bedroom of their home following a barricade that lasted more than six hours, said Mary Ann Jennings, a county police spokeswoman.

Officers arrived after Lash’s wife called and reported a domestic dispute Thursday night at about 10 p.m., said Officer Richard Henry. Hostage negotiators spent the next six hours trying to talk with Lash, who had barricaded himself inside the house.

Shortly after arriving, police said officers heard two gunshots fired inside the home.

They tried for hours to reach Lash for hours before they entered the home at about 3:45 a.m. and found the bodies in a first-floor bedroom.


Trooper charged with DUI

A Virginia State Police trooper is facing a drunken-driving charge after he was pulled over by a Tennessee highway patrolman and found to have a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit, police said Thursday.

Mark Robin McGee, 44, of Chilhowie, was arrested for driving under the influence two days after state police completed a crackdown on drunken driving, speeding and other violations, resulting in more than 9,000 summons being issued, or arrests.

It was not immediately clear if Trooper McGee took part in the crackdown. He was placed on administrative leave, authorities said.

Kevin Lee Christy, 37, a police officer in Abingdon, also was arrested on a charge of public drunkenness. Police said Trooper McGee and Officer Christy were together in Trooper McGee’s truck when someone reported seeing it weaving on Interstate 81, where they were stopped.

In a breath test at the scene, Trooper McGee’s blood-alcohol level registered 0.27 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, authorities said.

Officer Christy did not take a breath test but was visibly intoxicated, police said.

Both officers posted bond and were released Thursday from a county jail.


Man gets 150 years in child porn case

A Virginia man received a 150-year prison sentence for multiple charges involving the sexual exploitation of minors and the operation of child pornography Web sites.

Gregory John Mitchel, 39, of Dublin, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Roanoke.

The Justice Department said Mitchel pleaded guilty in January to the production, distribution, sale and possession of child pornography. He had been convicted previously of child pornography offenses.

U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said the sentence is evidence of the department’s commitment to severely punish child predators.

The department’s investigation revealed that Mitchel was involved in the daily operation of child pornography Web sites. The sites sold membership subscriptions to persons looking to obtain videos of boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Authorities said Mitchel also was responsible for filming videos of minors engaging in sex acts for the site.

Mitchel and others also received proceeds from the membership subscriptions.


Carbon-monoxide leak kills one, sickens 100

Carbon monoxide leaked into a three-building college dormitory complex early yesterday, sickening more than 100 teenagers and adults attending summer programs at Roanoke College, the school said. One man was found dead.

College spokeswoman Teresa Gereaux said the victims were taken to two hospitals in ambulances or vans after complaining of headaches, nausea, dizziness and shakiness.

Walter J. Vierling, 91, of Pearisburg, was found dead in a dormitory room, Miss Gereaux said. Mr. Vierling was in a building that was built in 1913, but all three buildings affected were renovated in 1986, Miss Gereaux said.

The medical examiner had not determined the cause of death.

Lewis-Gale Medical Center treated 62 persons, including two emergency-services workers, hospital officials said. Of those, five were admitted — one in critical condition and the others in fair condition.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital treated 49 persons. Forty-seven were released, and two remained under observation but were expected to be released yesterday evening, hospital officials said.


Police identify plane crash victims

Virginia State Police on Thursday identified two persons who died two days earlier when their single-engine plane crashed in the back yard of a Virginia Beach home minutes after taking off from Norfolk International Airport.

The medical examiner’s office identified the pilot as George R. Schell, 69, of Norfolk, and the passenger as Judy Broadway, 63, of Rockledge, Fla., police said. Two dogs on board also died.

Family and friends said Mr. Schell, a retired businessman, and Miss Broadway had been dating for four or five years.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Mr. Schell radioed that the Beechcraft Sundowner’s door opened after takeoff and he was trying to return to the airport.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board said it could take six months or more to determine the cause of the crash.


Tot seriously hurt after fall from window

A 19-month-old boy was taken to a hospital after falling from a third-floor window in Northwest yesterday afternoon.

Alan Etter, a spokesman for the D.C. fire department, said the boy suffered multiple injuries and was in serious condition at a local hospital.

The child fell from a window in the 1400 block of W Street.

D.C. police are investigating the incident.



Detective chokes up on stand

A lead homicide detective nearly broke down in tears yesterday as he testified in the retrial of two illegal aliens accused of nearly beheading three young relatives.

Sgt. Darryl Massey became choked up as he described entering the Northwest Baltimore apartment where the children were killed May 27, 2004.

He said he had never seen a crime “quite like this” in 27 years.

Adan Canela, 19, and his uncle Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 24, are accused of strangling, beating and slashing the throats of Ricardo Solis Quezada, 9; his sister Lucero Solis Quezada, 8; and their cousin Alexis Espejo Quezada, 10.

Both men are illegal aliens from Mexico.

During testimony yesterday, Sgt. Massey described Mr. Canela as “arrogant” and “unemotional” during police questioning. Mr. Canela also used profane language during one of the taped statements, then repeated: “I don’t know nothing.”

The trial ended last year in a hung jury. The retrial is expected to last at least two more weeks.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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