- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2007


Tot in moving car fine despite crash

A 13-month-old girl riding in the back seat of a car yesterday afternoon is fine after the car crashed into a railing around the Tidal Basin.

Police said the child was in the back seat of a Nissan Sentra being driven on Interstate 395 yesterday afternoon. The driver told police that he was having a seizure and bailed out of the car.

The car rolled toward the Tidal Basin and crashed into the railing; otherwise it would have gone into the water.

The child’s mother was contacted and came to get her.

The driver was taken to a hospital to determine whether he really was having a seizure. No charges have been filed.

CIA worker dodged $79,000 in taxes

A longtime CIA employee was sentenced to five months in jail after pleading guilty to income tax evasion.

Federal prosecutors said Cassandra Harris, 48, was a human resources manager at the CIA. She admitted in court in January to failing to file for 2001 and evading about $56,000 in federal income taxes and about $23,000 in D.C. income taxes from 1999 through 2002.

Prosecutors said Harris claimed false exemptions in 1999, causing the CIA to stop withholding income taxes from her pay, and failed to report any income on her 1999 and 2000 tax forms even though she earned more than $70,000 each year.

When the IRS contacted Harris to discuss her tax liability, she responded that the notice was “illegal” and that filing income tax returns was voluntary.



Drug raid at house finds dog-fighting clues

Authorities conducting a drug investigation said they raided a Surry County house owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and found dozens of dogs — some of them injured or sickly — and items associated with dog fighting.

State Police Sgt. D.S. Carr said a relative of Vick’s — identified as Davon Boddie — lives in the home. Mr. Boddie, 26, was arrested on drug distribution charges in Hampton last Friday.

Members of a multijurisdictional narcotics task force found 60 dogs in three buildings on the property. They said some of the dogs appeared malnourished, scarred and injured.

Dog fighting is illegal nationwide and a felony in 48 states, including Virginia, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Tribes move closer to federal recognition

Federal recognition for six Virginia American Indian tribes appears more likely after tribal leaders agreed to forgo their sovereign right to run casinos on tribal lands.

The chiefs had resisted making that concession for years.

The House Natural Resources Committee approved the bill Wednesday after passing an amendment forbidding the tribes from conducting gambling. Gambling opponents have blocked the bill for seven years because the chiefs had resisted making that concession.

About 21,000 Indians live in Virginia, most in the southeastern part of the state. Tribal leaders said recognition from Washington would open the door to a variety of forms of federal aid from college scholarships to health care and low-interest loans.


Fatal accident blamed on wind, malfunction

A mechanical problem and gusty winds were to blame for a deadly boating accident at Smith Mountain Lake earlier this month, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries investigators said yesterday.

Richard Smith, 64, of Moneta, was killed April 4 when the 33-foot wooden boat he was in overturned with three other men on board. Two others were rescued by passing boaters, but crew searching daily have failed to find the body of David Reynolds, 44, of Grottoes, Lt. Karl Martin said.

The boat’s cooling system malfunctioned, pumping water into the boat but not out of it, Lt. Martin said. The weight from the water and wind gusts up to 30 mph caused it to capsize, he said.


Woman says diplomat made her a servant

A Tanzanian woman has filed a federal lawsuit against her former employers, saying that she was forced to work for a Tanzanian diplomat and his wife in Montgomery County for more than four years under conditions that amounted to involuntary servitude.

Zipora Mazengo received a visa allowing her to come to the U.S. in June of 2000. She worked for Alan Mzengi and his wife at their homes in Bethesda and Gaithersburg. Mr. Mzengi is a minister at the Tanzanian Embassy in Washington.

Miss Mazengo says the Mzengis did not honor an agreement that called for her to work 40 hours a week providing child care and housekeeping for $750 a month plus room and board. Instead, the lawsuit says that she was held captive until August 2004 and forced to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Miss Mazengo also says she was forced to work for Mrs. Mzengi’s catering business.

Miss Mazengo is working with the immigrant advocacy group CASA of Maryland in an effort to get unpaid wages and overtime payments.


Reward offered for tips in clerk shooting

A 7-Eleven clerk was fatally shot yesterday at the store in the 5700 block of Columbia Road.

The 40-year-old woman was shot shortly after 3 a.m. and died at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Her name was not released.

Police said a man outside the store called 911. He said he heard a gunshot inside and saw a masked man run from the store toward Route 108.

Police think the shooting was part of a robbery attempt.

The company that owns 7-Eleven is offering a $25,000 reward for information about the shooting and Howard County police are offering an additional $5,000.


Vigil marks five years since boy disappeared

It has been five years since a 2-year-old Frederick boy disappeared while in his stepfather’s care in San Diego, and loved ones met Wednesday for an anniversary vigil.

Jahi Turner was left with his stepfather, Tieray Jones, while his mother was deployed with the Navy. Mr. Jones reported the boy missing during an outing in a park. The hunt for the boy included a search at a San Diego landfill.

No one has been charged in the boy’s disappearance. Mr. Jones, meanwhile, is serving time for assault.


Convicted thief says suspect loot is hers

It has been nearly two years since a National Security Agency employee living in Severn was convicted of jewelry theft, but she is still awaiting sentencing and authorities are still trying to determine how much was stolen.

Linda Kelley, 51, was convicted by a judge in August 2005. A search of her home in 2004 turned up nearly 1,000 pieces of jewelry that police said were stolen from two stores where Kelley held part-time jobs. But Kelley has said much of the jewelry is rightfully hers, even though she can’t provide receipts.

A hearing has been rescheduled for May 17. The defense said Kelley should be allowed to withdraw her Alford plea if the two stores can’t prove particular items had been stolen.

Police said jewelry from one of the jewelry stores was found tucked in Kelley’s bra after she was caught in June 2004 stealing clothing from a nearby J.C. Penney store.

Kelley resigned from the NSA and has a new job.


Academy must pay for denied breaks

A federal arbitrator has ordered the Naval Academy to make payments to workers who were wrongly denied lunch breaks while employed at a campus restaurant.

The dispute involved more than two dozen workers. The academy will pay a total of $14,000.

The arbitrator ruled the academy violated labor laws and created a climate of fear among workers at the Officers’ and Faculty Club.


Man charged in teen’s beating death

Baltimore police arrested a suspected gang member in the killing of a 16-year-old boy earlier this month.

Nicholas Brunson, 20, was arrested Monday and is charged with first-degree murder in the beating and stabbing of Brent Flanagan. The boy’s partially dismembered body was found in the basement of a row house that had been set on fire.

Police think Mr. Brunson and Mr. Flanagan were members of the Bloods gang and lived in the same apartment building in the 4400 block of Pall Mall Road.

Charging documents say an argument escalated and ended with Mr. Flanagan being killed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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