- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Gallaudet trustees to meet Sunday

Trustees of Gallaudet Univer-sity have scheduled a meeting for Sunday to discuss the nearly three-week-old protests against the incoming president.

Student, faculty and alumni protesters have spent weeks calling for the 21-member board of trustees to return to campus and help solve the impasse at the nation’s premier school for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Since Oct. 5, protesters have locked down buildings, blocked campus gates, held rallies and vigils, and marched to the U.S. Capitol. University authorities arrested 133 protesters in order to reopen a side gate, and at least seven protesters were in their 10th day of a hunger strike yesterday.

The demonstrations began in May when the board selected Provost Jane K. Fernandes to replace President I. King Jordan when he steps down in January. After a quiet summer, protests resumed in early October after the board had its last scheduled meeting before Mrs. Fernandes is to take office.

Jurors deliberate developers’ case

Jurors yesterday morning began deliberations in the conspiracy and fraud trial of prominent D.C. developer Douglas Jemal in U.S.District Court.

Earlier in the day, a male juror was excused when he complained of a health problem related to the stress of the case, which is now in its sixth week. The juror was replaced by an alternate.

Mr. Jemal, his son Norman, and Douglas Development Corp. leasing official Blake Esherick are charged with giving a D.C. official $25,000 and gifts for favorable leasing deals with the District.

Federal prosecutors called 49 witnesses; defense attorneys called three witnesses.

The key witness in the case was Michael Lorusso, a former deputy in the D.C. Office of Property Management, who pleaded guilty last year to taking bribes.

Prosecutors said that wealth and power made the defendants think they were above the law. The defense said prosecutors were politically motivated in pursuing the case and mischaracterized an “exchange of hospitality” among friends.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume today.



Toddler returned after carjacking

A sport utility vehicle taken in a carjacking Monday night was found yesterday in Southeast, and the driver was arrested, though no charges have been filed, police said.

Two men approached a man sitting in his Chevy Blazer about 7:30 p.m. Monday as he waited outside a convenience store in Allentown Plaza. The carjackers pulled him out of his car and drove off, dragging the man several feet.

The man’s 17-month-old daughter was in the back seat. The carjackers drove to a home in the 7400 block of Waldran Avenue near Andrews Air Force Base, put the baby on the stairs of the home, knocked on the door and drove off. The residents of the home called police, and the baby was returned to her mother.

Prince George’s County police said the toddler was unharmed, but the father suffered scrapes, bruises and a broken ankle.

The Blazer was found near St. Elizabeths Hospital. It was taken to Prince George’s County for forensics testing.


Crashed plane flew in restricted zone

A recording of air traffic control transmissions shows that just before a fatal crash near Fort Meade last week, an air traffic controller told the pilot he was flying in restricted air space.

The air traffic controller told the pilot to land immediately at Tipton Airport, according to a recording posted at LiveATC.net, which provides live and archived air traffic control traffic.

Daniel Eberhardt, 57, of Downers Grove, Ill., and Bobbi Getz, 56, of Pittsburgh, died in the crash. The two were in Mr. Eberhardt’s Piper Malibu PA-46 that crashed shortly after takeoff Thursday at Tipton Airport. Family members said Mr. Eberhardt was piloting the plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board inspector in charge of the investigation told the Annapolis Capital that the plane appeared to be returning to the airport when it hit a tree, sheering branches at a 40-degree angle.

An initial investigation found no obvious problems with the engine or the airplane’s body.


Man sentenced for selling fake IDs

A Hyattsville man was sentenced yesterday for providing illegal aliens with bogus identification, federal prosecutors said.

Tomas Villegas-Lucio, 51, will spend 15 months in prison with two years of supervised release afterward.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said Villegas-Lucio pleaded guilty to transferring more than 25 fraudulent Social Security cards, Employment Authorization cards and green cards to illegal aliens.

He said Villegas-Lucio typically charged $100 for every two fake documents that he created on a laptop computer.


Police identify boys hit by car

Montgomery County police have identified the two boys who were struck by a car on Bel Pre Road on Monday night.

Erick Johnson, 6, was killed and his brother, Derrick, 7, was injured after they ran into traffic from the median in the roadway near Georgia Avenue. Police said the boys had been walking with their mother, who was holding their 4-year-old brother when they were struck.

Derrick is being treated at Children’s Hospital in the District.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene, and police are still hoping to talk with witnesses who might have been in the area about 5:40 p.m.

No charges have been filed.


Emu death results in director’s firing

The director of the Caroline County Humane Society has been fired, a few weeks after her role in the fatal shooting of an emu on a golf course.

The emu death played a role in the dismissal of Hattie Gasser, said Humane Society President Mitch Arion. He told the Easton Star Democrat there were other reasons, too, but he did not elaborate.

Some were upset after the September killing of an emu that was hanging around a golf course. The bird was killed after attempts to stun it for capture failed.

On a 911 tape, Miss Gasser is heard saying, “I think we’re going to have to have somebody shoot this thing.”

Miss Gasser, who is also on the Federalsburg Town Council, had been a Humane Society director since last year. Agency leaders told the newspaper they planned to work with law enforcement to plan for dealing with future animal situations.


Bear hunt ends after two days

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources closed the state’s 2006 black bear hunt yesterday, the second day of the scheduled six-day season.

The agency planned to halt the hunt in Garrett and Allegany counties when its objective of 35 to 55 bears was reached. The results remain unofficial because bears taken yesterday can be checked-in today.

Annual bear hunts returned to Maryland in 2004 after a 51-year ban.

The estimated average weight of the bears taken this year was 157 pounds. The largest was a 464-pound male taken by William Corbin of Oakland.


New lanes reach next stage

Faster travel on Interstates 95 and 395 is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Virginia Department of Transportation entered into an interim agreement yesterday with Fluor Virginia Inc. and Transurban Development Inc. to build multipurpose lanes for buses and high-occupancy vehicles.

The companies plan to add another lane to the current two-lane HOV corridor running from the 14th Street Bridge to Dumfries. Cars with more than two occupants would get a free ride. All other vehicles would pay a variable toll — meaning lower tolls during less-congested periods.

The 56-mile-long project is expected to cost about $1 billion, according to a company Web site (www.faster95.com).

Herb Morgan, a Fluor vice president, said the new lanes will “bring relief to drivers who endure the daily grind of traffic” as well as support the region’s economic growth.

The interim agreement signed yesterday will allow Fluor-Transurban to proceed with preliminary engineering work. A final agreement will be signed after federal environmental approvals are established, company officials said.


Off-duty officer trapped under truck

An off-duty Norfolk police officer was seriously injured yesterday when he was run over by a dump truck and trapped beneath the vehicle for nearly an hour.

Norfolk police spokesman Chris Amos said the officer — whose name was not released — was in stable condition at a Norfolk hospital.

The officer was working part-time for a construction company that was paving a Norfolk street.

Witnesses said the officer was in uniform and walking across the street when a truck loaded with construction materials backed over him.

A crane was brought in to lift the vehicle off the man because rescue workers feared that moving the vehicle under its own power would cause further injury.


Ex-officer admits distributing steroids

A former Petersburg police officer pleaded guilty to illegally distributing anabolic steroids to other officers, federal prosecutors said.

Calvin Felder entered his plea Monday in federal court. He faces up to five years in prison, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Felder is to be sentenced Jan. 18.

As part of his plea, Felder acknowledged that he distributed anabolic steroids to fellow officers in 2002 and 2003. Prosecutors said he acknowledged converting one of the substances into an injectable liquid, providing hypodermic needles and instructing the other officers on how to inject the steroids.

FBI agents who investigated the case said the officers turned to steroids to build muscle that would give them an edge in confrontations with criminals. But the drugs can cause violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”


Teen sentenced for killing grandmother

A 15-year-old was sentenced to 50 years in prison Monday for killing his grandmother by stabbing her 17 times and cutting her throat.

Christopher Sterling Jamison’s sentence will be suspended after he serves 24 years. He will stay in the custody of the Virginia Depart-ment of Juvenile Justice until he is 21, then spend the remaining time in an adult prison.

Christopher was raised by his grandparents, Jean and Jerry Jamison. They had been arguing for about nine months about his new girlfriend and his plummeting grades, according to testimony.

On Nov. 5, 2005, when Christopher’s girlfriend broke up with him took a knife from the kitchen, walked out onto the porch where Mrs. Jamison was smoking a cigarette and stabbed her twice in the back. During a struggle, he repeatedly stabbed her in the chest and stomach before cutting her throat.

Christopher apologized during Monday’s hearing and said he knew his grandmother was “just trying to do what in her mind was best for me.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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