- The Washington Times - Friday, February 2, 2007


Suspect vehicle had authorization

A vehicle that prompted a Secret Service investigation and an evacuation of a federal building near the White House yesterday was allowed to enter the White House complex a half-hour after it alarmed a bomb-sniffing dog.

A Secret Service spokeswoman said the incident began about 9:45 a.m. when the dog reacted to a vehicle at a gate along Jackson Place, one block north of the executive mansion.

Kimberly Bruce said the vehicle was checked and found to have the proper authorization to enter the White House grounds. It was cleared to proceed about 10:15 a.m.

The incident prompted the temporary evacuation of several office buildings along Jackson Place. Media crews normally located on the north lawn of the White House were also moved as a precaution.



Tougher laws sought for sex offenders

A state senator is calling for tougher sentences for sex offenders.

Sen. Nancy Jacobs, Harford Republican, has introduced legislation calling for sentences of no fewer than 25 years without parole for those convicted of the worst sex offenses.

The bill is known as “Jessica’s Law” and is named for a 9-year-old Florida girl who was sexually assaulted and killed by a convicted sex offender.

The General Assembly passed a less-strict version of the bill last summer. A majority of the members of the Senate are co-sponsors of the bill.


Deliveryman shot at cop’s home dies

One of two deliverymen shot during an altercation at the home of an off-duty Prince George’s County police officer died yesterday.

Doctors at Prince George’s Hospital Center told investigators early yesterday morning that Brandon Clark, 22, died during surgery.

The Oxon Hill resident and his co-worker, Robert White, 36, were shot by Cpl. Keith Washington.

A dispute occurred as the men were delivering furniture to Cpl. Washington’s home in Accokeek Jan. 24.

Mr. White remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Cpl. Washington is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation into the shootings.


Patient charged in sex assault

Howard County police have charged a Columbia man with sexually assaulting a woman while both were patients at Howard County General Hospital.

Police arrested Jerel Mcrae, 27, of the 5000 block of Turnabout Lane, Thursday night as he was being released from the hospital.

Police said a 19-year-old female patient reported to staff that she had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Mcrae in a shower room Wednesday.

Officials said Mr. Mcrae was charged with two counts of second-degree sex offense and one count of sodomy. He is being held at the Howard County Detention Center on $50,000 bond.



Bodies in car may be missing teens

The bodies of two young women were found yesterday inside a car that belongs to one of two Montgomery County teenagers missing since Jan. 19.

The dark blue Subaru Outback was found in Northern Virginia about 2:15 p.m. by someone who was driving off Route 9 in a remote area near the West Virginia border, Loudoun County sheriff’s spokesman Kraig Troxell said.

Authorities later found the bodies of two women, who appeared to be under the age of 25, in the car’s front seats, he said.

Rachel Smith, 16, of Potomac, and Rachel Crites, 18, of Gaithersburg, did not return home two weeks ago after telling their parents they would be attending a movie in Georgetown.

Police confirmed last night that the car in which the bodies were found is registered to Miss Crites’ family. However, the bodies have not been identified, and authorities were trying to determine the cause of death.

Investigators have said they have no evidence of foul play in the teens’ disappearance, but were concerned about the mental states of both teen-agers.


Senate passes cockfighting bill

The state Senate passed legislation yesterday to make cockfighting illegal in Virginia.

Sen. W. Roscoe Reynolds, Henry Democrat, wanted to make cockfighting a felony but the Senate amended his bill on Thursday to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor.

Cockfighting in Virginia is a misdemeanor now only if admission is charged or prizes are awarded.


3 plead guilty in drugs scheme

A former dog handler for the Henry County Sheriff’s Department pleaded guilty yesterday to taking part in a scheme involving his boss and 11 other officers to sell drugs seized from criminals.

Walter Hairston, who was the department’s police dog handler, pleaded guilty to one charge of racketeering conspiracy.

The indictment states that Hairston would pass along drugs he received to train drug-sniffing dogs to another department officer for distribution. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Two of the seven civilians charged in the case also pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

A total of 13 of the 20 defendants named in the indictment returned last fall have entered guilty pleas.

Prosecutors said that beginning in 1998, tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of drugs were sold and officers also stole guns and other evidence.


Senate approves ‘Abraham’s Law’

A bill dubbed “Abraham’s Law” for the sick teen who won a court battle to treat his cancer with alternative medicine has cleared the state Senate.

The bill is similar to one that passed a House committee Thursday.

It would give parents and mature children with life-threatening illnesses more say in how the child is medically treated.

The bill is named for Starchild Abraham Cherrix, a 16-year-old Eastern Shore boy who fought last summer to forgo chemotherapy to treat his Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system that is considered treatable in its early stages.

The measure would let parents refuse a certain medical treatment under some conditions and not face neglect charges.


Slavery apology of House rapped

The Senate sponsor of a slavery apology resolution has decided he doesn’t like a different version in the House of Delegates.

The Senate Rules Committee yesterday unanimously endorsed Sen. Henry L. Marsh III’s resolution expressing the General Assembly’s “contrition” for the state’s role in slavery.

Mr. Marsh, Richmond Democrat, had said that he would amend his resolution to conform to a House version expressing the legislature’s “profound regret” for slavery. He changed his mind after reading the entire House resolution, Mr. Marsh said.

A House committee earlier this week amended Delegate A. Donald McEachin’s resolution, which originally was identical to Mr. Marsh’s, to express regret not only for slavery but for “the historic wrongs visited upon native peoples, and … all other forms of discrimination and injustice that have been rooted in racial and cultural bias and misunderstanding.”

The House passed its resolution 91-0.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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