- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2009



Man gets 11 years for witness slaying

A Frederick drug dealer was sentenced Monday to 11 years and three months in prison for helping to kill an associate to keep him from testifying in a federal investigation.

Eric Lee Campbell, 23, appeared in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Campbell had pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit witness tampering by homicide. The offense carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Campbell was 16 when members of the B-6 gang carried out a plan to fatally shoot 20-year-old David Lee about two weeks before he was expected to testify in a federal drug and weapons investigation.

Prosecutors said Campbell was present at the shooting and hid the gun afterward.


Former officer jailed for child porn

A former Prince George’s County police officer was sentenced Monday to more than four years in prison for child pornography charges.

U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. sentenced David John Larose of Lusby to 51 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for keeping child pornography on his personal computer. The 35-year-old man will be required to register as a sex offender.

Larose was a patrol officer with Prince George’s County since 1996. Prosecutors say he used his personal e-mail account to purchase illegal child pornography online between October 2006 and April 2007.

Federal investigators seized Larose’s computer in March 2008 as evidence.

During sentencing, the judge found Larose had lied during his testimony and failed to accept responsibility for his actions.


O’Malley to appoint new secretaries

Gov. Martin O’Malley scheduled a news conference to announce the appointments of Beverley Swaim-Staley as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation and Edward Chow Jr. as secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

The O’Malley administration said the announcement was set for Tuesday in Annapolis.

Ms. Swaim-Staley has been acting transportation secretary since her predecessor, John D. Porcari, left the post to be deputy secretary at the U.S. Transportation Department earlier this year.

Mr. Chow has been director of programs for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies. He also has been president of the Maryland State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America.


Escaped prisoner extradited from Va.

A Jessup man who authorities said assaulted a deputy and fled to Virginia was brought back to Maryland on Monday, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office said.

Devin Champagne, 20, was extradited to Howard County after he was found in the Richmond area late Thursday and taken into custody.

Authorities in Maryland said he had just been convicted of felony theft Aug. 13 when he attacked the deputy driving him to the detention center.

Officials said Champagne used his handcuffs to choke and hit the deputy and tried to take his gun before climbing out a window.

He was being held at the Howard County Detention Center without bond.


Prosecutors deny abuse of process

Prosecutors are rejecting claims by lawyers for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon that they abused the grand jury process.

Maryland State Prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh filed a response to a motion that seeks information about subpoenas issued after the mayor was indicted in January.

Ms. Dixon’s lawyers say Mr. Rohrbaugh improperly issued subpoenas to gather evidence for trial. But Mr. Rohrbaugh said the subpoenas were issued to gather evidence for a new indictment against the mayor. Prosecutors obtained that new indictment last month.

Mr. Rohrbaugh also said the defense had no need to see subpoenas that did not produce any testimony or evidence.

Ms. Dixon, a Democrat, is accused of stealing gift cards intended for needy families and lying about gifts from her developer boyfriend. She could be ousted from office if convicted.


Amusement park to add water features

The Adventure Park USA amusement park in New Market will add water features starting next year.

The Wild West-themed park announced on its Web site Monday that the 5.5-acre water park will be developed in two phases.

A 20,000-square-foot wave pool, cabanas and a children’s play area will open next year.

The park owners said a quarter-mile stream and giant slide towers will be added in the second phase, scheduled for development in 2011.


Sex offender charged with visiting school

The lawyer for a registered child sex offender charged with visiting a Frederick County elementary school without permission said his client feels persecuted.

The charges against 40-year-old Steve Yingling of Frederick say he dropped off and picked up his son at Lewistown Elementary School in Thurmont, and toured the school before classes began.

Defense attorney Scott Rolle said Monday that Yingling didn’t know he needed written authorization from school administrators to be on the grounds.

Yingling was sentenced in 2004 to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a second-degree sex offense.

Mr. Rolle said Yingling was released about two years ago and is trying to reconcile with his estranged wife. He said nothing prohibits contact between Yingling and his four children.



Grants awarded for foreclosed homes

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program has awarded $9.4 million in grants to help buy and rehabilitate about 85 foreclosed homes in two dozen neighborhoods in Virginia.

Gov. Tim Kaine said Monday that the homes would be made available for sale to low-, moderate- and middle-income families.

The grants include: Catholics for Housing in Prince William County, $1.5 million; Chesapeake, $1.5 million; Chesterfield County, $500,000; Culpeper, $1.2 million, Fauquier County, $1.5 million; Franklin, $400,000; Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation, $1 million; Pathways in Petersburg, $600,000; and Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation, $1.2 million.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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