- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VIRGINIA

DANVILLE

Execution date set for convicted killer

A man convicted of robbing and killing a co-worker six years ago has been scheduled for execution June 13, his attorney said.

Matthew Engle, an attorney with the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center, said Christopher Scott Emmett’s execution date was set yesterday by the Danville Circuit Court.

Emmett, 35, was convicted of the April 2001 murder of John Langley. Jurors heard a taped confession in which Emmett admitted striking Mr. Langley in the head with a lamp in the motel room they were sharing.

The men were part of an out-of-town roofing crew working in Danville.

Prosecutors said Emmett killed Mr. Langley, robbed him of $100, bought and smoked crack cocaine and then called the police to report that something had happened to his roommate.

RICHMOND

Court hears appeal of killer of family

The Virginia Supreme Court yesterday heard the appeal of an Arlington man sentenced to death for the New Year’s Day 2006 slayings of a Richmond family of four.

Ricky Jovan Gray was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Bryan and Kathryn Harvey and their daughters, 9-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Ruby.

He got life in prison for killing the adults and the death penalty for killing the children.

Gray’s attorney, Ted Bruns, challenged the provision in the capital murder statute that resulted in the death sentence. That provision allows the death penalty for a person older than 21 who kills a child younger than 14. Mr. Bruns argued that the provision violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution because it creates an arbitrary distinction between offenders based on age.

But Senior Assistant Attorney General Matthew Dullaghan said the General Assembly is entitled to great deference in weighing the benefits of protecting children and punishing adult criminals.

The Supreme Court is likely to rule on the appeal in June.

WOODBRIDGE

Firefighter dies in house fire

A Prince William County firefighter died yesterday morning while trying to put out a house fire and rescue the occupants.

Kyle Wilson, 24, was a career firefighter assigned to Station 12.

Mr. Wilson and other firefighters were in the house searching for the occupants when he became separated from his colleagues. Firefighters had to pull out of their effort to rescue him when part of the house collapsed.

The firefighters didn’t know that the family of seven who lived in the house had gotten out safely and taken refuge at a neighbor’s.

The cause of the 6 a.m. fire was under investigation.

NORFOLK

Plainclothes officer kills robbery suspect

A plainclothes officer happened upon a robbery at a gas station convenience store and fatally shot the suspect, Norfolk police said.

Police spokesman Chris Amos said the shooting happened about 11 p.m. Sunday, and the robbery suspect, Paris Wynn, 23, of Newport News, Va., died later at a hospital.

The officer’s name was not released.

Mr. Amos said the Norfolk officer walked into the convenience store section of the gas station as it was being robbed by a man with a gun. Mr. Amos said the officer “verbally challenged” the gunman, who fired at the officer.

Mr. Amos said the officer returned fire, hitting the man.

MARYLAND

ELKTON

Man shot trying to run down trooper

Maryland State Police said a trooper fatally shot a man as the suspect tried to run him down after a chase.

Trooper Robert Nitz tried to pull over a pickup with a Delaware tag registered to another vehicle shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday. Police said the driver refused to stop and led the trooper on a chase reaching 85 mph along Blue Ball Road.

The pickup drove into a yard, and the trooper got out of his patrol car. Police said the pickup driver then sped toward the trooper.

Witnesses said the truck hit the trooper and the trooper fired two rounds at the driver. The truck hit a fence and stopped in a pasture.

The driver, Scott L. Perry, 49, of Newark, Del., died yesterday at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Trooper Nitz was released from the hospital at about midnight.

BALTIMORE

Trench collapses, trapping worker

A construction worker was trapped when a trench collapsed in West Baltimore yesterday.

The incident took place just after 12:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Koko Lane.

Crews had dug a 10-foot trench Saturday, but rain weakened the walls of the trench, which were not reinforced.

The worker was trapped up to his waist, but was awake and alert.

Crews brought in a portable heater and set up an air vent to blow air on the trapped man.

A crew of about two dozen special rescue team members worked to reinforce the side walls. Officials said that after that was done, firefighters would drop into the hole and dig the man out.

DISTRICT

Gandhi to stay as finance chief

Natwar M. Gandhi, the District’s chief financial officer, said yesterday that he will turn down a job offer from Amtrak and stay with the city government.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty had announced before he took office in January that he would reappoint Mr. Gandhi when his five-year term expired this year, and Mr. Gandhi accepted the offer.

“I have decided to stay with the city,” said Mr. Gandhi, who is credited with helping save the city from bankruptcy. “I have never done more important work in my life.”

Mr. Gandhi met yesterday with Mr. Fenty, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and council member Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat.

Amtrak has been looking for a new chief financial officer, and spokesman Cliff Black confirmed over the weekend that the railroad has had discussions with Mr. Gandhi.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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