- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Man shot by police near school

Two veteran D.C. police officers shot and critically wounded an armed man yesterday afternoon near an elementary school in Northeast, police said.

Police received a call from the girlfriend of Rufus Davis, 36, of the 4200 block of Brooks Street Northeast, saying he had pistol-whipped her.

Sgt. Keith E. Blakely, 41, and Officer Larry E. Murchison Jr., 43, attempted to take Mr. Davis into custody at about 1:30 p.m. when he parked his sport utility vehicle near his residence — just two blocks from Smothers Elementary School.

Police said Mr. Davis got out of his vehicle and pointed a handgun at the officers, who then fired, hitting him in the abdomen. Neither officer was injured.

Mr. Davis faces charges of assaulting a police officer and other weapons-related charges. The handgun was found at the scene.

Both officers have been with police department for 16 years and have been placed on routine leave during the investigation.



Police shooting leaves suspect dead

A man was fatally shot by a police officer early yesterday morning, Prince George’s County police said.

The shooting happened at about 1:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Rochelle Avenue.

A police officer responded to a report of an assault in progress. He found a Gregory Bogg Jr., 25, of an unknown address, standing over a woman who was lying in the middle of the road, police spokeswoman Cpl. Debbie Carlson said.

The officer ordered Mr. Bogg to get away from the woman; instead, he “grabbed [the] woman around the neck and held her like a shield,” Cpl. Carlson said.

Mr. Bogg then threw the woman down to the ground and — ignoring orders to keep his hands visible — reached behind his back and appeared to pull something out of his belt, police said.

At that point, the officer shot Mr. Bogg, Cpl. Carlson said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The officer was placed on routine administrative leave during the investigation.

The shooting was the fourth police-involved shooting in Prince George’s County since Labor Day — two of which were fatal.


Indictment likely in series of killings

Law-enforcement authorities in Harford County, confronted by a series of homicides, attacks and disappearances of area women this year, said yesterday that they plan to indict a suspect in one of those homicides within the month.

Police said that the cases are linked by timing and location and that they are examining forensic evidence for further links.

Harford County State’s Attorney Joe Cassilly said he will seek an indictment against an unnamed suspect in the death of Lillian Abramowicz Phelps, 43, of Elkton, whose body was found near Havre de Grace in early June.

He would not name the suspect, saying police want to identify additional witnesses. But he said the person is in custody.


Inmate’s lawyer argues against lethal injection

An attorney for death row inmate Vernon Evans argued yesterday in federal court that Maryland’s method of lethal injection is unconstitutional.

A. Stephen Hut said the process could cause “an excruciatingly painful death” because Evans’ veins have been badly damaged after years of drug abuse, which could interfere with how the three-drug mixture is injected into him.

Mr. Hut also said other aspects of the procedure are flawed, including a lack of adequately trained personnel and the logistics of the execution chamber.

But prosecutor Laura F. Mullally said the state has ample medical evidence to prove the method is quick and painless.

The attorneys argued before U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg. Hearings in Baltimore are scheduled for the rest of the week.

Evans was sentenced to die for the 1983 murders of two clerks at a Pikesville motel. In February, Maryland’s Court of Appeals stayed his execution.


City reports first West Nile cases

The first cases of West Nile virus — all elderly residents — have been reported in the city.

A fairly dry summer has meant few problems with mosquitoes, which transmit the illness.

Dr. Marsha Smith of the city health department said fewer cases of West Nile have been reported this year compared with last year. But she said the latest stretch of wet weather prompted these cases. All three victims were older than 65, and all survived.

Dr. Smith said everyone needs to be diligent, at least until the first frost, which usually happens by mid- to late-October.


Appeal denied in shaken-baby case

The Court of Special Appeals denied an appeal by a Cambridge man serving 20 years for the death of his infant son, the Dorchester County State’s Attorney’s Office said.

William Lednum, 26, was convicted of child abuse resulting in the death of his 3-month-old son, Kaleb, in 2003. Kaleb suffered bleeding in the brain. The baby’s mother, Jaime Lednum, had left him with her husband while she went to work.

Throughout the trial, Lednum’s defense attorneys maintained that Kaleb died from a fall and was not shaken.

In his appeal, Lednum argued that the court made errors in the way the jury was given the child-abuse instruction and failed to keep his statements to police out of the trial.

Lednum is serving his sentence at Western Correction-al Institution in Cumberland.


Police warn of debit-card fraud

Ocean City police are warning people to be on the lookout for fraudulent charges on their debit cards.

The police said 10 persons have come forward since Wednesday saying fake cards have been used to withdraw cash from automated teller machines at stores.

Investigators said more than $5,000 has been reported missing so far, and they are still looking for the thieves. Similar cases have popped up in several locations on the Mid-Atlantic coast.


Woman charged in Katrina scam

A woman who said that her 3-year-old twins were killed in Hurricane Katrina has been charged with fraud, police said.

Maryland State Police last week arrested Sandra Sue Suiter, 45. Police said she solicited and received monetary charitable donations after saying her children were in killed in Slidell, La., during the storm.

Communications with the police department and the coroner’s office in Louisiana showed that the claim was untrue, Maryland State Police Detective Tim Keen said. Detective Keen told the Salisbury Daily Times that no children younger than 5 died in Slidell in the storm.

Originally from Shelbyville, Ind., Miss Suiter lived in Hebron for about six months before her arrest. Detective Keen said she solicited between $5,000 and $10,000 in donations from residents and area organizations, including St. Paul’s Church.

Miss Suiter was taken to Wicomico County Detention Center and charged with theft over $500, theft scheme under $500, making false statements to a police officer and obstructing and hindering. She is being held on $10,000 bail.


Two charged in counterfeit scheme

Two men have been charged with passing counterfeit $100 bills at a store, Frederick police said.

Alex Maldonado, 36, and Arturo Bran-Enriquez, 37, were charged with possession of counterfeit currency and passing counterfeit currency. Mr. Bran-Enriquez also was charged with theft under $500.

Workers at Boscov’s in the Frederick Towne Mall called police Saturday.

Officers found several counterfeit $100 bills on Mr. Maldonado and Mr. Bran-Enriquez when they were arrested. Mr. Maldonado was stopped before his purchase was made, but Mr. Bran-Enriquez was able to make his purchase.

The investigation is still continuing to determine whether the theft is related to other similar cases.



School evacuated over suspicious device

A middle school in suburban Richmond was closed yesterday morning while a bomb squad checked out a suspicious device.

Chesterfield County authorities said an employee found the device at Manchester Middle School. It was later discovered to be a hoax.

Police got the call at 6:25 a.m. and evacuated the building and blocked off entrances. Students, teachers and staff were moved to a nearby high school and parents were told not to pick up students as school officials decided what to do next.

The students were later sent home.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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