- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2006

DISTRICT

Man fatally shot in NE identified

D.C. police yesterday released the name of a District Heights man who was fatally shot in Northeast on Friday night.

Matheno Nichols, 23, of the 2000 of Country Road, was found fatally shot in the hallway of an apartment building in the 4000 of Gault Place Northeast about 9 p.m. Sgt. Joe Gentile said Mr. Nichols had been shot several times in the body and head.

Police have not been able to determine a motive or identify any suspects.

MARYLAND

RIDGELY

Crash kills pilot of self-built aircraft

A small self-built aircraft crashed at Ridgely Airpark in Caroline County yesterday, killing the pilot, state police said yesterday.

James T. Monard, 61, of the 24000 block of Race Track Road in Ridgely, was operating a gyroplane about 11:30 a.m. when he crashed on the runway, police said.

A witness told authorities that Mr. Monard was performing touch-and-go maneuvers on the runway. The aircraft, which resembles a small helicopter, was climbing in altitude when the rotor stalled, causing the aircraft to crash to the runway. Mr. Monard was thrown from the aircraft and pronounced dead on the scene.

The privately owned airport is open to the public. Airport officials could not be reached for comment.

COLLEGE PARK

Man charged in apartment fire

A man has been charged with arson in the fire at an 11-story apartment building Saturday, Prince George’s County police said.

Eric Lamont Partlow, 38, of Capitol Heights, was charged with arson, assault and first-degree rape, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a police spokeswoman.

Mr. Partlow is thought to have raped his former girlfriend and then locked himself in her apartment before setting it on fire, authorities said. He was arrested while trying to escape.

The fire erupted about 4 a.m. on the third floor of the Seven Springs apartment complex in the 9300 block of Cherry Hill Road. It took nearly 75 firefighters about an hour to put out the two-alarm blaze.

Twenty-five apartments were damaged, displacing 75 persons. Three persons were treated for injuries, including a firefighter who was treated and released.

Fire department officials said the damagewas estimated at $300,000.

CATONSVILLE

Police identify man who died in scuffle

State police have identified the state hospital worker who died Saturday after helping subdue a belligerent patient.

Lee McDuffy, 39, of the 200 block of Green Fern Way in Lansdowne, died at St. Agnes Hospital, several hours after he helped break up a fight between two patients. One of the patients, a 40-year-old man, continued to fight hospital workers as they tried to sedate him, police said.

After the incident, Mr. McDuffy told staff he did not feel well. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he died.

State police said the State Medical Examiner’s Office was conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Police have not arrested anyone or filed any charges.

Spring Grove Hospital Center is a state-owned complex that provides psychiatric services to adults and adolescents.

CAMBRIDGE

State to buy land on Eastern Shore

The state will buy more than 700 acres near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said yesterday.

The land was earmarked for development of thousands of new homes, a hotel and a golf course.

State officials are scheduled to announce today that they will buy the land closest to the Little Blackwater River, where environmentalists worried that the subdivision would harm wildlife.

The price for the land was not announced.

DNR spokesman Stephan Abel said the timing of the announcement — one day before a statewide election — has nothing to do with politics.

“Literally, the process just came together,” Mr. Abel said.

The state has been negotiating since August to buy the land and prevent development on the most sensitive land, Mr. Abel said.

VIRGINIA

SEBRELL

Man, 3 Scouts killed in crash

Three Boy Scouts and an adult leader returning home from a camping trip were killed yesterday when their sport utility vehicle ran off a rural highway, crashed into a tree and burst into flames, state police said.

John Oliver, 43, and three members of Troop 17 in Franklin died at the scene, said state police Sgt. D.S. Carr.

The driver’s son, Michael, 13, was able to get out of the SUV and was taken to a hospital, police said. His condition was not available.

The three boys who died were identified as Luke Drewry, 12, Carter Stephenson, 14, and Jackson Fox, 13.

Sgt. Carr said some residents of the area heard the crash and rushed to the scene, but the flames made a rescue impossible.

Amanda Wroten, spokeswoman for the scouts’ Colonial Virginia Council, said Mr. Oliver was assistant scoutmaster for the troop sponsored by Franklin High Street United Methodist Church. She said troop members were returning from the Blackstone United Methodist Scouting Fellowship, about 60 miles northwest of Franklin.

According to Sgt. Carr, another driver with the Boy Scout group looked in her rearview mirror and saw Mr. Oliver’s vehicle run off “a sweeping curve” on Virginia 35 in Southampton County about noon.

He said investigators don’t know why the driver ran off the road, where the speed limit is 55 mph.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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