Court grants appeal in rape-murder case
The Virginia Supreme Court will hear arguments later this year in the case of a man who had his conviction overturned in the 1997 rape and murder of a woman in Norfolk.
A three-judge panel on Friday granted the hearing on the state’s appeal of a Norfolk Circuit Court ruling that overturned Derek Tice’s conviction.
Mr. Tice, Joseph Dick Jr. and Danial Williams were convicted in the July 1997 stabbing and strangulation of Michelle Moore-Bosko, 18, in her apartment. A fourth man, Eric Wilson, was convicted of rape but acquitted of murder. He was released in September 2005 after 8 years in prison.
All four men are seeking to overturn their convictions.
In November, Circuit Judge Everett A. Martin Jr. ruled that Mr. Tice had ineffective trial lawyers because they should have sought to suppress his confession to police. Attorneys have said a detective told the suspects that they would face the death penalty if they did not acknowledge guilt.
Forensic evidence — including DNA — has failed to link any of the men to the crime scene.
Mr. Tice remains imprisoned during his appeal. State attorneys said he will be retried if Judge Martin’s finding is upheld on appeal.
Mrs. Moore-Bosko’s husband found her body in their apartment when he returned from Navy deployment.
Groups challenge ICC air impact
Two environmental groups yesterday asked the federal Department of Transportation to withdraw its approval of the Intercounty Connector (ICC), saying soot emitted by traffic will violate federal air-quality standards.
The Sierra Club and Environmental Defense say that the 18-mile highway across central Montgomery County into northern Prince George’s County will lead to health risks for children and others who live nearby.
The groups say the road will violate newly enacted standards of the federal Clean Air Act.
State planners say that the $2.4 billion highway connecting Interstate 95 with Interstate 270 will ease congestion on the Capital Beltway and smaller roads by providing another east-west option for drivers.
Maryland recently awarded a contract for the first phase of the road, and the first stretch is expected to be done by 2010.
The Federal Highway Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation, approved the highway last year.
Maryland officials have said that environmental impact studies indicate that the road complies with all federal and state regulations.
But the two environmental groups say their own scientific modeling shows the road will exceed limits for fine particles of pollution outlined in a revised standard from the Environmen-tal Protection Agency that went into effect in December.
The two groups also filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming that the air-quality analysis of the road conducted by federal and state regulators was flawed. That case has not gone to trial.
High arsenic levels found in park, yards
High levels of arsenic have been found in the yards of homes near a long-closed chemical plant, state environmental officials said.
The arsenic dust, a carcinogen linked to higher lung cancer rates, is thought to come from the closed Allied Chemical pesticide factory, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The report was submitted after the April closing of Swann Park, which is next to the former plant and was closed after arsenic levels were found to be 100 times safe levels.
Horacio Tablada, director of waste management at the Maryland Department of the Environment, said the agency has ordered New Jersey-based Honeywell International, which inherited responsibility after merging with Allied, to remove soil from the yards of seven homes.
The agency tested three yards May 29 in a stretch of row homes and found elevated levels in all three.
Honeywell has promised to remove the top 3 inches of soil in the yards and then cover the ground with concrete or soil, a spokeswoman said.
Some residents questioned whether that was enough.
“I’m angry. If we’ve got arsenic dust in our yards, aren’t we breathing that?” said Harvey Leichling, 47.
Mr. Leichling said he was worried that his 17-year-old son’s chronic breathing problems, his 12-year-old’s frequent nosebleeds, and his own rashes and painful pins-and-needles sensations in his feet are linked to the arsenic.
“If it’s in my back yard, I know it’s also got to be in my basement and all over the whole neighborhood,” said Mr. Leichling, an airplane-parts inspector who has rented on the street for 18 years. “Would you like to live in a house knowing it’s contaminated?”
Teen dies in crash hours after graduating
A teenager was killed in a car accident early Monday morning at Fort Meade, just five hours after he graduated from Meade High School.
Police said William Reynolds, 17, lost control of his car while driving on Reece Road near Jacobs Road West. The car went off the road on a curve and hit a tree. William died at the scene.
Police said speed appeared to be a factor. Drugs and alcohol did not appear to be involved.
Four teens charged in beating, robbery
Police arrested four teen-agers after a man was beaten and robbed outside his home.
Police said Zach Sowers, 27, was walking home near Patterson Park from a Canton bar shortly after midnight Friday when he was attacked just 10 feet from his house. He is in a coma at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The suspects used Mr. Sowers’ credit cards at two gas stations and to rent DVDs, police said.
Police said one of the suspects, Trayvon Ramos, 16, had been free on bail in a February carjacking in Elkton, Md. He and Arthur Jeter, 17, Eric Price, 16, and Wilburt Martin, 18, are charged with attempted murder.
WEST OCEAN CITY
Group opposes shark tournaments
The nation’s largest animal rights group wants to end several shark tournaments along the East Coast, including one in Ocean City.
The Humane Society of the United States said that shark-fishing techniques are barbaric and that the tournaments harm dwindling populations of thresher, blue and mako sharks. It has bought newspaper ads and banners and begun a letter-writing campaign to end the tournament.
Organizers said the sharks caught during the tournament are not on the endangered list.
Police seek man after fatal shooting
Baltimore County police searched yesterday for a man who is accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and injuring another woman in a double shooting Monday morning at a Parkville shopping center.
David Miller, 24, of the Parkville area, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Elizabeth Walters, 24. She was seven months pregnant with Mr. Miller’s child, though he is married to another woman, police said.
Mr. Miller also is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Heather Lowe, 24, of Baltimore, in the parking lot of the Parkway Crossing Shopping Center. She was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and told police that Mr. Miller was the shooter.
Surveillance videos show a black Cadillac pulled up to the Dodge Stratus that Miss Walters and Miss Lowe were sitting in near a Home Depot and a Payless Shoe Store. A person from the Cadillac got into their car for about two minutes, then got out and left in the Cadillac. The video then shows people running to the Stratus, police said.
Police said that Mr. Miller’s wife owns a 2000 black Cadillac and that they said several cell-phone calls were made between him and Miss Walters about 45 minutes before the shootings.
Child-porn defendant commits suicide
A Frostburg State University professor scheduled to go on trial tomorrow on child-pornography charges committed suicide, authorities in Allegany County said.
MacGregor O’Brien, 57, was arrested in December on nine counts of possessing child pornography. Investigators reported finding the images on computers from his home and his campus office.
A family member found him unresponsive in an idling vehicle at his home Monday afternoon.
Flexible plastic pipe had been taped to the exhaust and run into the window of the vehicle, authorities said. Mr. O’Brien had also left several notes.
Alcohol a factor in teens’ injuries
Two teens were hospitalized Friday in separate alcohol-related injuries as graduating high-school seniors packed the beach resort.
One of the cases was a 17-year-old boy who police said may have consumed as many as 20 shots of whiskey before suffering alcohol poisoning.
A 17-year-old boy injured himself by jumping from a third-story balcony to a second-story balcony. He had to be sedated by paramedics before they could take him to the hospital.
Neither boy was identified because of their ages. Both were expected to recover.
Parents were notified in both cases.
From wire dispatches and staff reports