- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2008



Midshipman killed in car accident

A senior midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy died in a single-car accident in Virginia about one mile from Fort A.P. Hill, the academy and local authorities said Tuesday.

Aaron H. Reaves, of Kennesaw, Ga., died at the scene Monday about 3:37 a.m. on Route 301, Virginia State Police said.

Neither excessive speed nor alcohol is considered to be a factor in the crash, state police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Cunningham Jr. said. Midshipman Reaves, 21, was wearing a seat belt.

A state trooper’s investigation found that Midshipman Reaves was traveling north on Route 301. He crashed into a tree after the vehicle ran off the road to the left, overcorrected and came back on the road before running off the right side.

He was on leave and returning to Annapolis for a summer training cruise, the academy said. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is also investigating.


Teen to be tried as an adult

Nicholas Browning, the Baltimore County teen accused in the shooting deaths of his father, mother and two younger brothers, will be tried as an adult.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Thomas Bollinger on Tuesday denied a petition by the teenager’s attorneys to have the case transferred to juvenile court.

The ruling followed two hours of detailed testimony from a defense psychiatrist about purported physical and verbal abuse of the youth, 16, by his parents. The defense argued that the abuse had a profound effect on the teen’s mental condition.

Judge Bollinger also was required to consider the teen’s age, the nature of the purported crime and the impact on public safety, in addition to his mental and physical conditions.

The teenager is charged with four counts of first-degree murder for the slayings, which occurred in February at his family’s Cockeysville home.


Man injured in plant fire

Prince George’s County firefighters worked Tuesday to put out a two-alarm equipment fire at Maryland’s largest power plant.

Firefighters were called to the Chalk Point Generating Station in Aquasco about 9:40 a.m. for an equipment fire at a five-story building at the site. The power plant is located on the Patuxent River and owned by Mirant Corp.

A man working at the site was critically injured with second-degree burns, fire department spokesman Mark Brady said.

By 11 a.m., Mr. Brady said, firefighters had called in more units and were preparing to use foam to try to extinguish the blaze. The fire was put out about 12:30 p.m.

The fire ignited during a demolition project on a structure and created heavy smoke in the area, Mirant spokeswoman Misty Allen said. The fire was contained and not affecting the plant’s operations, she said.


Killer moved to federal prison

An inmate convicted of killing a correctional officer during an escape from a Hagerstown hospital has been sent to the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., Maryland’s prison agency said.

Brandon Morris, 22, was one of roughly 40 inmates who were transferred from the Supermax prison in Baltimore Thursday under an interstate compact, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Rick Binetti said.

Morris was sentenced in January to life without parole for shooting Officer Jeffery Wroten with the officer’s gun during an escape from Washington County Hospital in January 2006.

Mr. Binetti said that because Morris killed a correctional officer, it was best to move him out of the Maryland prison system, mostly for his own safety.


Kaine denies voter fraud

Gov. Tim Kaine on Tuesday addressed allegations made by Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick that widespread voter fraud is occurring in the state.

Mr. Frederick, a Republican state delegate representing Prince William County, said Monday that with stepped-up attention on Virginia as a likely battleground state for the fall presidential race, there are more reports of people submitting fraudulent applications to registrars in order to “receive payment for their daily quota.”

He cited recent arrests in Hampton and complaints of fraud in Richmond as what “unfortunately appears to be a coordinated and widespread effort in Virginia to commit voter fraud,” and he called for an investigation by Mr. Kaine and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, a Republican.

Mr. Kaine, during an interview on WTOP Radio, called the accusations “ridiculous” and said they were “slandering the reputation of hard-working Virginians.”

“There has been no evidence of any pattern of voter fraud or voter impropriety in Virginia for a very long time,” said Mr. Kaine, a Democrat.

State Republican Party spokesman Gerry Scimeca responded to the governor’s remarks by saying Mr. Kaine is “defending people who are filing dozens of phony voter registration forms for pay.”

“If Tim Kaine cared about working Virginians as he claims, he’d take action to ensure that the millions of votes cast by law-abiding Virginians aren’t canceled out by those engaging in voter fraud,” Mr. Scimeca said.


Protesters get community service

Ten people charged with obstruction of justice after protesting Dominion Virginia Power’s plans for a coal-fired plant in Wise County will not serve any jail time.

Two others have opted to stand trial in September.

The 12 protesters appeared in a Richmond court Tuesday morning. Nine accepted a plea deal that requires them to perform 200 hours of community service within the next year.

Marley Green, a 22-year-old college student from Harrisonburg who suspended himself from a bridge over the James River, was sentenced to 225 hours of community service.

The protest on June 30 blocked the entrance to Dominion Resources’ corporate headquarters and backed up traffic in Richmond for hours.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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