- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Woman gets 12 years for shaking foster baby

A D.C. woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for shaking and beating an infant who had been placed in her care by the D.C. government.

Tanya Jenkins was convicted in January of repeatedly abusing Rafael Pearson in October 2005, when he was less than 2 months old. The child suffered permanent brain damage and other injuries that will prevent him from living a normal life.

Jenkins was a foster care provider for the city’s welfare system.

Although a social worker should have visited her home to check on the child weekly, court records indicate that only one such visit took place, three weeks before authorities learned of the child’s injuries.

Rafael now lives in a nursing facility in Northern Virginia.

Construction worker rescued at ballpark

A construction worker who fell while working on the top level of the new baseball stadium in Southeast will be OK after the D.C. fire department performed a high-angle rescue.

Fire department spokesman Alan Etter said the 23-year-old man injured his back when he fell at about noon yesterday. Rescuers had to stabilize the man before he could be brought down with a crane and a basket.

Mr. Etter said the injury isn’t life-threatening and the man will be fine.

Metro announces more job cuts

Metro is cutting a total of 220 jobs in an attempt to close its budget gap without resorting to a fare increase.

The cuts represent about 2 percent of the transit agency’s 10,600-member job force. They include 100 cuts in the construction department that were announced earlier.

The other positions being eliminated are administrative and will not affect transit police or workers involved in bus or train operations. Employees will be notified within the next two weeks, Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. said.

Officials said the cuts will save about $22 million a year.

Last month, Mr. Catoe scrapped a complicated fare increase that would have raised $64 million. However, he said he would ask the agency’s board of directors to adopt a new fare policy that would tie future fares to an economic index.



Morgan State coach has charges dropped

Charges against Morgan State basketball coach Todd Bozeman were dropped yesterday after he apologized to the people at a restaurant and the community of Farmville.

Mr. Bozeman faced one count of misdemeanor assault and one count of cursing and abusing a waitress after a dust-up at a restaurant.

The incident happened Feb. 3, after Mr. Bozeman’s team lost a game to Longwood University. Witnesses told police that Mr. Bozeman was unhappy that Mulligan’s Sports Grille packed ham and turkey sandwiches instead of steak sandwiches for his team’s trip home to Baltimore. They said he stormed into the restaurant and demanded his money back.

According to court records, Mr. Bozeman agreed to an undisclosed monetary payment to the restaurant employee.


Sergeant told soldiers to simulate sex acts

A Fort Eustis drill sergeant is heading to prison after forcing a male trainee to dress as Superman and simulate sexual acts.

Staff Sgt. Edmundo Estrada will spend six months in prison for having inappropriate personal relationships with three male trainees in his command.

Estrada pleaded guilty Monday at his court-martial to three counts of mistreating soldiers, as well as to violating regulations against developing relationships with subordinates.

Estrada said during his court-martial that he asked each of the soldiers to pose for bodybuilding photos, urging them to take their shirts off and wear spandex shorts. He also pressured them to act out torture scenes from an unnamed movie.

At one point, Estrada said the photographs were to improve the trainees’ self-esteem. Later, he said he took the photos to degrade them.

In addition to prison time, Estrada also was given a bad-conduct discharge and a reduction in rank.


Woman pleads guilty in DMV scam

A sixth person pleaded guilty yesterday for her part in a fraudulent driver’s license scheme in Northern Virginia.

Mary Georgette Preusch, formerly known as Mary Georgette Hartzell, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit identification fraud.

Preusch worked as a clerk at the Franconia branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles from 1995 until 2005. She admitted in court to conspiring with five other persons to produce Virginia driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.

The five others found guilty were DMV worker Kelly Ann Gallo and outsiders Edwin CoCo Sanjines, Jose Ismael Guzman and Fredy Alonso Baires and Melvin Antiga-Guirola.

Preusch faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.


Beltway sink hole shuts lanes

A small sink hole caused trouble yesterday during rush hour on the Capital Beltway.

The two left lanes at the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge were closed for several hours yesterday while crews worked to repair the hole. The middle lane eventually reopened, but the far left lane of the Inner Loop remained closed.

John Undeland, a spokesman for the Wilson Bridge Project, says all lanes should be open again in time for the morning drive.

He said the sink hole is about 2 feet by 2 feet and is about 3 feet deep. Officials don’t know what caused it.



Train carrying chemical derails near city

Authorities worked yesterday to return derailed freight cars to the CSX tracks in South Baltimore.

One of the cars was a tanker carrying about 33,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, officials said.

CSX spokesman Garrick Francis said the two cars and one engine derailed about 4 a.m. near the Brooklyn neighborhood. No cars overturned, despite earlier reports that the tanker overturned, Mr. Francis said.

The derailment occurred during switching at the Curtis rail yard. No one was injured.

Anhydrous ammonia is used in fertilizers. Fire department spokesman Kevin Cartwright said the ammonia was not leaking, although a hazardous-materials team was at the accident scene.


Investigation begins of mine wall collapse

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has opened a formal investigation into last week’s accident in an open pit coal mine that killed two men.

Dale Jones, 51, and Mike Wilt, 38, were operating heavy equipment April 17 at a site near Barton when a high wall collapsed, burying them under thousands of tons of earth and rocks. They are thought to have died instantly. Their bodies were found Friday.

An investigative team will study the accident site, interview mine workers, review records and plans and inspect equipment that was being used, an MSHA spokesman said.

Any safety violations could lead to fines for the owner of the site, Tri-Star Mining Inc.


Counselors charged in death surrender

Five of six Bowling Brook Preparatory Academy counselors indicted in the death of 17-year-old Isaiah Simmons have been arrested.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said Mark Sainato, 36, Shadi Sabbagh, 33, Jason Robinson, 25, Brian Kanavy, 31, and Michael Corradi, 31, surrendered yesterday morning.

The sheriff’s office said the sixth counselor, Dennis Harding, will surrender later this week. All are charged with a single misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.

The five arrested yesterday were released on personal recognizance.

Isaiah died in January after being restrained for more than two hours by Bowling Brook staff. The indicted employees are accused of not calling 911 for 41 minutes after the Baltimore teen became unresponsive.


Teen gets 30 years for assaulting reporter

A 19-year-old man convicted of robbing and beating a veteran newspaper reporter was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in prison.

Philip M. Carter pleaded guilty to robbery, first-degree assault and conspiracy to rob in the February 2006 attack on Carl Schoettler, now 74, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. Mr. Schoettler sustained serious head injuries and underwent rehabilitation before returning to work.

The attack happened after Mr. Schoettler was involved in a minor car accident not far from City Hall. As he exchanged information with the driver of a van, Carter attacked Mr. Schoettler from behind, knocking him down and kicking him in the head. Mr. Schoettler was left unconscious in the street.

Trial for the other two men charged in the attack, Gregory Kulla and Latar Bradshaw, is scheduled for May 23.


Toddler killed in house is ninth fire fatality

A 2-year-old girl who died in a house fire Monday morning was the ninth person killed in a fire this year in the city.

Breanna Boston was found on the second floor of the burning row house on South Payson Street in West Baltimore. She died at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The girl’s four siblings, her mother, Anne Baker, and Miss Baker’s parents were able to escape the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Man guilty of killing woman found in field

A 35-year-old man was convicted yesterday of killing an Elkton woman whose body was found in a remote field last year.

Charles Eugene Burns was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Lillian Abramowicz Phelps, whose body was found June 14 near a cornfield, two weeks after she left an Aberdeen home she and a friend had been visiting.

After prostitutes said that Burns attacked them, prosecu-tors said Miss Phelps’ blood and the blood of another woman were found under Burns’ car. Investigators also identified a bolt near a front tire that prosecutors thought delivered a fatal blow to her skull.

Prosecutors told jurors during three days of testimony that Miss Phelps was taken to a secluded location and killed after Burns ran her over with his car. Defense attorneys said that there was no evidence indicating Burns and Miss Phelps had met, or that he planned to kill her.

Sentencing is set for May 29.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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