- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009



Rescued sea captain thanks U.S. Navy

A merchant sea captain who was captured and held by Somali pirates has thanked the U.S. Navy crew and captain who were part of his daring rescue.

Richard Phillips stood Thursday on the fantail of the USS Bainbridge during the reunion with the skipper, Frank X. Castellano, and crew. The guided-missile destroyer was berthed in the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk.

Mr. Phillips called the Navy the real heroes in the high seas drama.

U.S. special forces snipers ended Mr. Phillips’ captivity in April with three shots that killed three pirates in the lifeboat where the New England mariner had been held for five days.

On Wednesday, Somali pirates attacked Mr. Phillips’ old ship, the Maersk Alabama, for the second time in seven months but were forced away.



No verdict yet in Dixon case

Jurors in Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon’s theft trial ended their first day of deliberations without a verdict.

Visiting Judge Dennis Sweeney sent the jurors home Thursday afternoon after they deliberated about four hours. They will resume deliberations Friday.

Earlier Thursday, the defense and prosecution delivered closing arguments.

Prosecutors say Ms. Dixon used gift cards for the needy on personal shopping sprees.

The defense says the mayor’s then-boyfriend anonymously gave Ms. Dixon gift cards for her own use, and she thought gift cards from another developer came from her boyfriend. Ms. Dixon is also accused of misusing cards from a charity event.


Motorcyclist dies in highway crash

Maryland State Police said a motorcyclist was fatally injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 81.

Stephen Kulina, 48, of Mercersburg, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

It happened about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. Troopers said Mr. Kulina lost control of his 2004 Harley-Davidson on the ramp from Halfway Boulevard. Mr. Kulina and his motorcycle slid across both lanes of the highway and hit the guardrail.

Mr. Kulina was vice president of operations for All-Shred Inc. Frederick, which also has an office in Easton.


Killer charged in triple murder

A convicted killer has been charged with killing three men in a Maryland shooting in 2003.

Prince George’s County police said Thursday that Moises Medina, 29, is being charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the 2003 shooting at the Stardust Inn in Landover Hills.

Medina had been serving a sentence for an unrelated homicide.

After a six-year investigation, Medina became a suspect in the motel shooting. He is charged with killing Noe Ornelas-Cruz and Robert Roman Jr., both of Lanham, and Francisco Javier Ornelas of Alexandria, Va., in an April 8, 2003, shooting.


Officer nearly hit by speeding truck

Maryland Natural Resources Police said Thursday a uniformed officer was nearly run over after someone illegally shot at a deer near Elkton.

Police said the officer had to jump out of the way on Nov. 10 on Old Elk Neck Road to avoid being hit.

Officers on foot patrol were investigating complaints of deer poaching when they saw a truck stop and shine a light at a deer.

After the truck drove off, one of the officers tried to stop the vehicle when police say the driver sped at the officer.

The truck is a red Ford vehicle built between 1997 and 2003.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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