June 25, 2013
THE REGION
I-495 shoulder in Va. to open for late rush

The left shoulder on the Capital Beltway’s inner loop will be converted into a rush-hour travel lane south of the American Legion Bridge, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) announced Tuesday.

The effect will be to have five travel lanes for 1.5 miles from Old Dominion Drive north to the George Washington Memorial Parkway interchange.

The new left lane on the inner loop will be open for traffic during the afternoon rush once a $20 million conversion project is done in late 2014.

— Robert Thomson

THE DISTRICT
Petworth man held in stabbings

A D.C. Superior Court judge called a Petworth man suspected in the stabbings of four women in Northwest a “serial offender” Tuesday and ordered him to remain in the D.C. jail until trial.

Magistrate Judge Frederick Sullivan said prosecutors presented enough evidence to find probable cause to hold Garey Jones III, 20, on charges of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with one of the attacks.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittain Shaw said four late-night attacks on women in Petworth and Bloomingdale between May 5 and June 19 “all seemed to happen for no reason.” None of the women was seriously wounded.

— Keith L. Alexander

‘Living wage’ bill on council’s agenda

The D.C. Council on Wednesday is scheduled to take a first vote on a bill that would require large businesses to pay their employees a “living wage” of $12.50 an hour — a significant increase over the D.C. minimum wage of $8.25.

The fate of the measure remained uncertain Tuesday, as council vote counters said sentiment on the bill is split.

— Mike DeBonis

VIRGINIA
Cuccinelli to fight for anti-sodomy law

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II on Tuesday filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court aimed at preserving Virginia’s ­anti-sodomy law.

Cuccinelli (R) asked the court to overturn a March decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to strike down the law, which was used in 2005 to convict a 47-year-old man of soliciting oral sex from a 17-year-old girl.

The appeals court ruled that prosecutors could not use Virginia’s statute to convict William Scott MacDonald because the Supreme Court had, in a landmark 2003 ruling, invalidated sodomy statutes that criminalize sexual activity between consenting adults.

Virginia’s statute outlaws all acts of oral and anal sex.

Cuccinelli said the law remains a useful tool for prosecutors seeking to convict predators.

— Laura Vozzella

Man pleads guilty to prostituting teen

A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to recruiting and prostituting a 15-year-old girl, admitting in federal court that he and his girlfriend arranged for the teen to perform sex acts for money in the Washington area.

In a hearing in Alexandria, Ronnie P. Holmes said that the girl claimed to be 18 but that he had enough information to know better.

Holmes is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 27.

— Matt Zapotosky

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