- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2009



3 arrested, 2 sought in double homicide

Caroline County authorities said three people have been arrested for a 2007 double homicide, and they’re looking for two others.

India Smith, 24, of Chesterfield County; Levon Smith, 23, of Richmond; and Sheppard Thomas III, 29, of Richmond, are being held in jail without bond.

Police are still looking for Kevin Coleman, 30, and Joseph Smith, 28, who both have ties to the Richmond area.

The five men face two counts of first-degree murder, robbery, abduction and six conspiracy charges.

On May 24, 2007, the bodies of Willie Smith, 22, and Jamal Nasir, 23, both of Richmond, were found in the trunk of a car. The cause of their deaths has not been disclosed.



Staffing woes seen at social services

An advisory board has told state lawmakers that Frederick County is the most understaffed jurisdiction in Maryland when it comes to social services.

Board member Heather Haynos testified Saturday that the county’s Department of Social Services is operating with a 20 percent vacancy rate and that county case managers average 1,000 cases a month.

Miss Haynos and others have asked lawmakers to exercise more oversight of the state Department of Human Resources, which implements social services. That includes food, medial and cash assistance for the needy.

Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald said the agency is doing everything it can to meet rising demand. She said the demand for food stamps is up 44 percent.

Miss Donald also said Frederick County is free to fill its staff vacancies.


Rain damaging soybean crop

An Eastern Shore farmer said heavy rain has put a damper on this year’s soybean harvest.

Wayne Tull of Whaleyville said he brought in 850 bushels Wednesday that he harvested earlier in the week. But he said the soybeans should have been harvested more than two weeks ago.

Rain has prevented Mr. Tull and other Delmarva farmers from being able to bring in their soybeans and earn a profit.


Teen to be tried as a juvenile

A white teenager charged in the unprovoked beating of an elderly black fisherman will have his case heard in juvenile court.

A Baltimore judge ruled Friday that Emmanuel Miller, 16, should be tried as a juvenile after attorneys argued that their client did not participate in the beating of James Privott.

Emmanuel was one of three people charged in the attack. Baltimore Circuit Judge David Young declined to move the trial of another teenager, Zachary Watson, 18, to juvenile court although he was 17 at the time of the beating.

Calvin Lockner, 28, a white supremacist with a tattoo of Adolf Hitler, has also been charged.

Mr. Privott testified Friday that he still suffers pain from the August attack.


De Francis makes bid for 2 racetracks

The former owner of Maryland’s major thoroughbred racetracks wants to buy back Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park to help restore the state’s racing industry.

Joseph De Francis said he and his sister, Karen De Francis, submitted a bid Friday to acquire the two tracks, the Preakness and a Bowie training center. The assets are to be auctioned next month by bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp.

Other potential buyers include Pikesville developer Carl Verstandig and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

Mr. De Francis has not revealed the financial details of his bid. Control of the tracks was sold to Magna in 2002 in a deal valued at $117 million.

If he wins the auction, Mr. De Francis said his first priority would be to get Laurel Park back in line for slot machine gambling.

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