Sunday, October 5, 2008


Detective guilty in inmate assault

A Metropolitan Police detective has been found guilty of assaulting an inmate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Jose Medina, 47, was convicted of misdemeanor simple assault on Friday following a bench trial, authorities said.

Prosecutors accused him of unlawful use of force against a person who had been arrested and handcuffed in 2006.

Medina faces up to 180 days in prison and fines. Sentencing is set for Nov. 7.

Mom of slain kids to get mental test

A mental evaluation has been ordered for a District woman accused of killing her four daughters and then living with their bodies for months.

Judge Frederick H. Weisberg ordered the evaluation Friday for Banita Jacks, 33, to determine whether she is competent to stand trial. Her attorneys say she has refused to meet with them. Mrs. Jacks told the judge she disagrees with her attorneys’ advice to use an insanity defense.

She was arrested Jan. 9 after federal marshals serving an eviction notice found the bodies of her four daughters, ages 5, 6, 11 and 16. Authorities said the girls had been dead since the summer of last year.



Ehrlich: Slots OK, referendum not

Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is defending his opposition to November’s slots referendum, despite his record of supporting slots when he was governor.

Speaking on his weekly Saturday talk show on Baltimore radio station WBAL-AM, the former Republican governor said he would rather see state lawmakers pass a slots bill than have a constitutional amendment, which can’t be changed without another referendum.

Kathy Snyder, president of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, said she was “puzzled” by Mr. Ehrlich’s opposition considering his former support for slots, but she said she understands his opposition to a referendum.

The chamber doesn’t like a referendum either, but it’s the “only game in town,” Ms. Snyder said, noting lawmakers have not been able to pass a slots bill.



New poll shows Warner way ahead

A new poll shows Republican James S. Gilmore III far behind Democrat Mark Warner in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race.

The Mason-Dixon Polling and Research survey showed 57 percent favored Mr. Warner to 31 percent who backed Mr. Gilmore. Both candidates are former governors.

The poll was conducted Monday through Wednesday of 625 registered voters.

It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

The poll is in line with two others during the past week that showed Mr. Gilmore trailing by about 30 points.


Old Dominion gets wound-care grant

Old Dominion is getting a $1.6 million grant to study how to use tiny pulses of electricity to reduce wound-related infections and stimulate healing.

The Department of Defense awarded the money to the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics and its Computational Intelligence and Machine Vision Laboratory.

About a dozen researchers will be involved in the work involving three areas of wound management, Director Richard Heller said. One helps to disinfect wounds, the other activates platelets in the blood and the third helps deliver genetic material to cells.

Preliminary research indicates all three approaches are promising.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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