- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2008



Another guilty plea in D.C. tax case

A fifth person pleaded guilty in the case of a purported tax refund scheme in the District.

Connie Alexander, of Bowie, admitted Thursday that she helped employees of the D.C. tax office steal millions by writing and depositing fake property tax refunds.

Alexander pleaded guilty to receipt of stolen property and conspiracy to commit money laundering. She agreed to repay the $3.1 million she received, which means she will have to turn over property that includes a Mercedes, 62 pieces of jewelry and a Cadillac Escalade.

Prosecutors say the accused ringleader of the scheme, Harriette Walters, gave Alexander checks totaling $1.55 million over 10 years. Alexander would then help deposit the checks. In return, Miss Walters purportedly showered her with gifts.

Authorities think at least $20 million was stolen from the District. Four suspects have pleaded guilty while Miss Walters and several others still face trial.


Child found OK after abduction

A 4-year-old boy abducted from his Fort Washington home was reunited Thursday with his parents.

Prince George’s County police said Jose Mejia was found by a teenage boy on a street in Takoma Park. The older boy thought it was strange that the youngster was alone and brought him home to his mother, who called police.

Jose was the subject of an Amber Alert after police said he was abducted from his home Wednesday night. A police spokesman said the kidnappers tied up the boy’s mother and one of his older siblings and shut two other siblings in a bathroom before leaving with the boy. Jose’s father was not home at the time.

Police had not identified a suspect. Police said it did not appear that Jose’s mother knew the kidnapper.


Agent pleads guilty to taking free cruise

An FBI agent pleaded guilty Thursday to accepting a cruise from a company doing business with the agency.

The Justice Department said Curtis Jones, 47, of Annapolis, pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore.

Prosecutors said the D.C.-based FBI equipment program manager approved a $2 million bid by the unidentified company to provide paper shredders. Company executives then invited Jones and his family on a Caribbean cruise during the 2003-2004 New Year’s holiday.

Prosecutors said the value of the cruise, lodgings and airfare was $7,500.

Jones is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.


Man pleads guilty to stealing cutout

A Monrovia man admitted Thursday to stealing a Dale Earnhardt cutout at a WaWa and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.

Johnnie Wayne Murrah, 42, pleaded guilty in District Court to theft under $100. He must also stay away from the WaWa.

The 5-foot-tall cutout on display at the convenience story prompted so many offers from customers that store management decided to auction off the display and donate the proceeds to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

On March 12, while waiting in line for the bathroom at WaWa, Mr. Murrah took the cutout. He turned himself in to state police after they released surveillance photos of people thought to be involved in the theft.


Man admits fault in boating accident

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said a Baltimore man has pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter in a fatal 2007 boating accident.

William Spittel, 51, pleaded guilty May 30. He was sentenced to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Spittel was indicted in December 2007 after crashing a boat into a channel marker in the Pleasure Island Cut on the Back River near Essex. He and two other men on the boat were ejected from the boat.

Michael Schott, 33, of Ellicott City, died in the accident. Spittel and the third man were rescued and Spittel was hospitalized with a concussion. The third man was not injured.

Divers found Mr. Schott’s body about 90 minutes after the crash.



Man pleads guilty to killing daughter

A Spotsylvania man has pleaded guilty to killing his 13-year-old daughter and shooting his stepdaughter.

Earl Wayne “Butch” Reynolds pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and using a firearm in commission of a felony in the shooting death of Kayla Reynolds. The 45-year-old also pleaded guilty to malicious wounding for shooting Amber Barnett, 19.

Reynolds was charged after his daughter died on the family’s front porch from a gunshot wound to the head last August.

He will be sentenced Aug. 27 in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court.


Man convicted of killing wife with crossbow

A Virginia Beach man has been convicted of killing his wife with a crossbow in 2006.

Jurors deliberated more than two hours Wednesday before convicting Kenneth Creamer, 47, of first-degree murder in the death of Anna Creamer. On Thursday, the jury recommended a life sentence for Creamer. A sentencing date had not been set.

Creamer claimed he accidentally shot the crossbow arrow into his wife’s back while she exercised on a treadmill in their garage as their 11-year-old son played inside.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Connelly said Creamer staged the crime scene to make it look like an accident.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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