- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 26, 2008


Judge denies meter injunction

A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday denied a request by a group of taxicab drivers for an injunction blocking the implementation of a time-and-distance meter fare system.

Judge Brook Hedge ruled Monday that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has the authority to order the city’s roughly 7,000 cabs to switch from zones to meters. An attorney representing a group of cab drivers argued for an injunction until an appellate court hears the case, which could be another two or three weeks.

The law mandating the new meters will go into effect Thursday, but only warning citations will be issued until June 1. Cabdrivers without the new meters will be subject to a $1,000 fine.



Teacher receives same sentence

A former teacher at a Muslim school has been sentenced again to 15 years in prison for his role in what prosecutors called a “Virginia jihad network.”

Ali Asad Chandia, who taught third grade at the al-Huda school in College Park, was convicted in 2006 of providing military support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group in Pakistan that violently opposes Indian rule of the disputed Kashmir territory.

He was one of a dozen men convicted in a network the government said used paintball games to train for holy war around the globe.

A federal appeals court earlier this year ordered a new sentencing hearing for Chandia, saying the judge needed to explain why he applied a so-called terrorism enhancement that more than doubled Chandia’s prison time.

At a sentencing hearing yesterday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Judge Claude Hilton explained that the enhancement was appropriate because Chandia was aware of the violent actions of the group he was helping.

Chandia’s lawyer said he will again appeal the sentence.


Ranger may lose job for killing pet dog

A Lake Anna State Park chief ranger convicted earlier this month of animal cruelty for shooting his pet dog and dumping the remains in the lake may soon lose his job.

Court records show John Joseph Miller Jr., 32, was found guilty April 11 of animal cruelty and dumping trash illegally.

Park manager Doug Graham said Mr. Miller was still employed but was under administrative review.

Mr. Miller’s job involves maintaining upkeep throughout the park as well as enforcing conservation laws.

Spotsylvania County animal control officials began investigating Mr. Miller in January when they found a post on his MySpace page about shooting a pet.



Man says demons made him kill boy

A Baltimore man accused of throwing his child off the Francis Scott Key Bridge into the Patapsco River pleaded not guilty yesterday to first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.

Stephen Nelson was arraigned yesterday and faces a July 29 trial in Baltimore Circuit Court.

Mr. Nelson was indicted on the charges in March.

Police said he threw 3-year-old Turner Jordan off the bridge in February. The child’s body has not been found.

Mr. Nelson told police demons made him do it. Court records show Mr. Nelson was in a custody battle with the boy’s mother.


Midshipman caught with child porn

The U.S. Naval Academy has referred the case of a midshipman accused of attempting to distribute child pornography to a court-martial.

Michael Pollard has been charged with receipt, possession and attempted distribution of child pornography, which officials said was stored on his computer equipment.

The academy said the offenses happened between July 2003 and August 2007.

Mr. Pollard is a 22-year-old senior at the academy.


New law protects transit officers

Metro officials say they expect a law signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to deter attacks on Metro Transit Police.

The law will make it a felony to assault a transit officer in Maryland starting Oct. 1. Currently offenders are only charged with a misdemeanor.

Assaulting a transit officer is already a felony in Virginia and the District.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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