July 26, 2013
THE REGION
Hormones may mean panda pregnancy

Attention, panda fans: Mei
Xiang, the National Zoo’s female giant panda, may be pregnant.

Zoo officials announced Friday morning that Mei Xiang had experienced a secondary rise in urinary progesterone. In other words, her hormones are rising in a way that might indicate a pregnancy.

It will take 40 to 50 days to know for sure, and even then, the only conclusive evidence will be if Mei Xiang produces a panda cub, zoo officials said.

The news comes less than a year after Mei Xiang lost a cub.

— Maggie Fazeli Fard

THE DISTRICT
Man found shot in burning apartment

A 31-year-old man was found shot in his burning apartment in Northwest Washington, according to authorities. Police said his Mercedes is missing.

The man, identified as Randolph Scott Harris Jr., died at a hospital. A D.C. police spokesman said it was not clear whether his death was a result of the gunshot or the fire.

Officials said the fire was reported about 6:20 a.m. in an apartment in the 1000 block of Euclid Street NW.

Authorities said firefighters forced their way into the apartment and pulled the man out.

— Peter Hermann

Woman hit by car
in Northeast dies

A 30-year-old woman who was struck by a vehicle Thursday night while crossing a street in Northeast Washington has died, D.C. police said.

Georgette Jones of Northeast was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said. She was struck about 9:15 p.m. while crossing the 500 block of Eastern Avenue NE. Police said she was walking from the Maryland side of the street into the District.

The driver remained at the scene. Police said the cause remains under investigation.

— Peter Hermann

Driver gets 7 years for killing pedestrian

A District woman who had been drinking malt liquor and smoking crack cocaine was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday in connection with an April car accident that killed a Washington pedestrian.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr. sentenced Maria N. Werts, 49, in connection to an April 28 accident that killed Emmajean Gainey, 58, as Gainey was walking on the sidewalk along South Capitol Street.

In May, Werts pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence. Dixon approved the sentence as part of Werts’s plea.

If Werts had been convicted at trial, she could have been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.

Prosecutor Edward O’Connell argued that Werts was intoxicated about 2:45 p.m. when she got behind the wheel of her 2010 Toyota Yaris and ran a red light at South Capitol. She made an illegal right turn on red, lost control of her vehicle and careened into the sidewalk. She struck Gainey, pinning her against a tree and killing her instantly.

— Keith L. Alexander

Man is charged with assaulting 9-year-old

A man grabbed a 9-year-old girl’s hair, threw her down and sexually assaulted her Friday in the H Street NE corridor, D.C. police said.

The man approached the girl from behind near 7th and H streets and attacked her just after 12:30 p.m., police said. A witness pulled the man away from the girl, and the man fled.

Police said they stopped a man a few blocks away. They said Demetrius Littlejohn, 27, of Northeast was arrested and charged with second degree child sexual abuse.

The victim did not appear to have suffered serious physical injuries, police said.

— Clarence Williams

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