- The Washington Times - Friday, October 9, 2009



Man convicted of killing girlfriend

A Honduran man who ran over his girlfriend with her own truck has been convicted of first-degree murder and may face deportation proceedings.

Jose Manuel Claros, 41, of Rosedale, was found guilty Thursday by Baltimore County Circuit Judge Ruth Jakubowski after a bench trial. He will be sentenced Dec. 15.

On Jan. 5, Claros hit 39-year-old Gloria Elsy Torres-Restrepo with the truck as she walked on the sidewalk near her home in Rosedale. Prosecutors said Claros had recently learned that Miss Torres-Restrepo did not want him living in her house and that she would take back the truck that she had lent him.


Bicyclist killed by freight train

A man on a bicycle was struck and killed by a freight train Thursday. Prince George’s County fire department spokesman Mark Brady said the man was about 30 years old.

Rescuers were called to the scene near Rhode Island Avenue and Crittenden Street about 1 p.m.


MARC gets back sidelined locomotive

The Maryland Transit Administration is getting back the first of four electric locomotives that have been sitting in an Amtrak repair yard for much of the past three years.

A shortage of engines has forced the MARC commuter rail service to run short, crowded trains on the Penn line between Baltimore and Washington and made it more susceptible to train cancellations.

Amtrak Deputy Chief Mechanical Officer Terry Schindler said the railroad thinks it has found a way to repair a problem with the locomotives.

State transportation officials said the returned engine underwent a third phase of testing Wednesday and could return to full service next week if it passes two more tests.

Amtrak expects to return a second locomotive by early next week and the remaining two before the end of the year.


50-year sentence in bus shooting

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Michael Mason on Thursday sentenced Hector Mauricio Hernandez, 21, of Takoma Park, to 50 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy on a bus in 2008.

Hernandez had pleaded guilty to charges including second-degree murder in the Nov. 1 slaying of Tai Lam and the wounding of two other teenagers. Prosecutors said Hernandez was a member of the MS-13 gang.


Man pleads guilty in wire fraud plot

Federal prosecutors said Gary Sean Clayton, 30, of Frisco, Texas, pleaded guilty Thursday in a plot that defrauded Holy Cross Hospital of $400,000.

He will be sentenced Dec. 29 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Clayton also will be required to forfeit a home in Texas, two vehicles and a boat.

Prosecutors said Clayton was an owner of Invictus Solutions, a Dallas company that provided employees to hospitals.

In 2007, Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring contracted with Invictus for a lab technician. Prosecutors said Clayton and two conspirators submitted fraudulent invoices to the hospital that exaggerated the technician’s hours.


Councilwoman’s trial to begin Dec. 7

A judge on Thursday threw out motions to dismiss the campaign finance charges against Baltimore councilwoman Helen Holton. Her trial will begin Dec. 7.

Miss Holton, a Democrat, is accused of having two Baltimore developers pay for a $12,500 political poll on her behalf. Maryland law limits donors to $4,000 per candidate in an election cycle.

The ruling by retired Howard County Circuit Judge Dennis Sweeney came a day after a hearing on the motion. Miss Holton’s attorneys argued that the Baltimore Circuit Court did not have jurisdiction over the misdemeanor charges and that one of the laws she’s accused of violating is unconstitutionally vague.



Funding cut may halt misdemeanor actions

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford told the county’s Board of Supervisors that her office might eliminate some or all misdemeanor prosecutions if the county doesn’t replace funding cut by the state.

Miss Lunsford’s office is facing a $32,000 because of state budget cuts, she told the county’s governing board Wednesday.

She said her office is only obligated by law to prosecute felonies such as murder and robbery and that misdemeanors such as driving under the influence and domestic assault might not be prosecuted if the county doesn’t fill the budget hole.

County Executive Robert W. Tucker Jr. said county staff would work with Miss Lunsford and look for ways to give her office more money.


Ring returned, finder rewarded

A 15-carat diamond ring reported lost last month has been returned to its owner.

College student Jeremy McIntosh found the ring belonging to James Ramsey on a Virginia Beach parking lot and returned it to the Norfolk resident Thursday. Mr. McIntosh had read about the ring in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.

Mr. Ramsey gave Mr. McIntosh a $10,000 cash reward. He said he bought the ring valued at $96,000 for himself on a trip to New York City last year.


Hijacked captain is parade marshal

Richard Phillips, the captain of the Maersk Alabama commercial ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates, will serve as the marshal of Norfolk’s Grand Illumination Parade on Nov. 21.

Hailed for offering himself to the pirates in exchange for his crew’s safety, Mr. Phillips also will get to meet with crew members of the USS Bainbridge, the Norfolk-based destroyer that served as a base for his rescuers.

Mr. Phillips also is scheduled to attend a preview of an upcoming National Geographic exhibit on pirates at the city’s Nauticus museum that will feature the lifeboat that he inhabited with his Somali captors until Navy snipers killed the pirates.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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