- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 17, 2007



Rosslyn attacks may be linked

Arlington County police say three recent attacks on women in the Rosslyn area may be related.

The incidents occurred in the late night or early morning hours, and two involved an assailant who put a plastic bag over the woman’s head.

In the first incident, a woman was groped March 5 on North Key Boulevard about 9:45 p.m.

On April 16, a woman was walking to her car in the 1400 block of North Nash Street when a man tried to put a plastic bag over her head. She fought back and he fled. Last Thursday, a similar incident occurred in the 4000 block of Washington Boulevard.

Arlington police are urging people with information on similar cases to call 703/228-4193.


Man charged with killing 4 in 1990s

A Chesterfield County man has been charged with killing four persons in 1990 and 1991, authorities said yesterday.

William T. Wallace Jr., 41, was arrested Monday after being indicted by a multijurisdictional grand jury on charges of capital murder, robbery, use of a firearm in a felony and conspiracy to commit robbery. He is being held without bail in Chesterfield County Jail.

Mr. Wallace is charged with the Oct. 12, 1990, robbery and killings of Tony Robertson, 31, and Pauline Story, 45, who were found fatally shot in a storage area at a Food Lion supermarket where they worked.

Maj. Warner Williams of the Chesterfield County Police Department declined to provide details about how authorities cracked the cases. He credited cooperation among officials in Richmond and Chesterfield.

“It’s a good example of the kind of results you can get when you work together so closely,” he said.

Police said Mr. Wallace had an accomplice, Matthew Boykins, who was killed a year later. Rodney M. Powell, 34, was arrested in Boykins’ death on May 7 in Richmond. Wallace also is charged in Boykins’ death and the Feb. 4, 1991, slaying of Andrew L. Allen in Richmond.



County to restrict summer water use

It will be another summer of limits on water use for residents of Howard County.

County officials said water use will be restricted during an ongoing project to inspect, repair or replace several miles of a major water main in Baltimore County that delivers water to Howard County.

Residents who get their water from the municipal water system will be banned from most outdoor water use from Friday evening through Sunday night each week, and all day on holidays.

Violators will be warned, and repeat violators could have their water turned off.


Teenage killer gets 60 years in prison

One of Baltimore’s youngest killers has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Zachary James was 15 when he was charged in two West Baltimore homicides last summer. He pleaded guilty Tuesday but gave no explanation or apology for the shootings.

James will serve 10 years before he will be eligible for parole.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the July shooting of Richard Smith, 34, and the September shooting of Michael Freeman, 32.


Plan would require sex shop to move

Ocean City’s Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a zoning code amendment limiting adult-themed businesses to about 1 percent of the town.

The measure also would give the resort’s only sex shop one year to move.

It was the opening of the Sex Style Adult Boutique this year that prompted the zoning change.

If approved, the businesses would be barred from opening within 600 feet of schools, churches, parks and the beach.

The amendment now goes to the Town Council and the mayor.


Contractor pleads guilty to extortion

A Taneytown man, ordered to pay restitution in a contractor fraud case, has pleaded guilty to trying to extort the money from a local bank official.

Gary Wayne Smith, 36, could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to bank extortion in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, federal prosecutors said.

Smith had been convicted in Montgomery County of failing to fulfill a fencing contract and ordered to pay restitution of $17,000, beginning with a payment in February.

Faced with financial difficulties and unable to make the payment, Smith sent a letter in February demanding $60,000 to the manager of the Middletown Valley Bank in Middletown, prosecutors said. In the letter, he threatened to harm the manager’s family if the money was not paid, according to court documents.

The manager contacted federal authorities. His children were taken out of school, and the entire family was placed under federal protection, the documents say. A few days later, FBI agents left a bag of money at a designated drop site, where Smith and an accomplice were arrested.

Arthur Wilson, 23, of Taneytown, pleaded guilty Monday to being an accessory after the fact and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, prosecutors said. His sentencing was scheduled for July 24.

Smith will be sentenced Oct. 4.


Man gets 60 years for beating toddler

A Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in prison for the fatal beating of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.

Erik Stoddard, 26, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, assault and child abuse in the death of Calen Faith Dirubbo in June 2002. She died after at least a month of beatings, including the fatal blow on June 15, prosecutors said.

The state Court of Appeals overturned Stoddard’s 2003 conviction in December 2005, ruling that prosecutors should not have been permitted to allow the mother to quote her 18-month-old during testimony. After witnessing the murder, the child reportedly asked his mother, “Is Erik going to get me?”

The court ruled that the statement was hearsay and shouldn’t have been admitted as evidence.

After sentencing yesterday, Stoddard told family members and the court that he thinks his conviction will be overturned again, adding, “See you in a couple of years.”


MySpace killer sentenced to life

A Baltimore County jury spared the life of a man convicted in the rape and murder of a Baltimore woman he met on MySpace.com, sentencing him yesterday to life without the possibility of parole.

The state had sought the death penalty.

John Gaumer, 23, was found guilty last week of raping and killing Josie Brown, 27. The former University of Maryland Baltimore County student said he beat her to death in an act of blind rage in December 2005. Her body was found 40 days later in a wooded area off Interstate 95 near Arbutus.

Closing arguments ended just before noon yesterday. Gaumer’s attorney urged the jury to consider his immaturity and learning disability and that he had never before been convicted of a crime. He noted that Gaumer had been drinking that night and asked jurors to consider the whole man, not just his worst moment.


$26 robbery yields 30 years in prison

An Anne Arundel County judge sentenced a man to 30 years in prison for a $26 robbery.

Judge Michele Jaklitsch said Warren Griffin’s robbery of two teens wasn’t the most egregious crime, but she said his criminal behavior started when he was 13 and that she has to protect the public.

Griffin, 44, robbed the teens three months after he was released from prison on a 1982 rape conviction. Two weeks after his release, he attacked a woman on the Eastern Shore.

He will have to serve 10 years on the attack charges and 30 years on the robbery charges.

Griffin blamed his behavior on others, railing against the prison system. He said he would not apologize for robbing the two teens at a church.

He said he was raped when he was 12 and never received state help for his problems. He was arrested 36 times before his conviction on the rape charge.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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