November 19, 2013
THE DISTRICT
Mayor presides
over wedding

Mayor Vincent C. Gray took advantage of a new city law allowing him to preside over weddings on Tuesday, marrying an Adams Morgan couple at the John A. Wilson Building.

Rob Robertson, 52, and Carlos Taylor, 46, took their vows in the mayor’s fifth-floor ceremonial office. Besides mayors, the law allows marriages to be solemnized by council members, holders of temporary court-issued licenses and even spouses-to-be.

— Mike DeBonis

MARYLAND
Prosecutors: Blink
is valid in trial

Maryland prosecutors want another chance to include video of a victim’s blink in an upcoming murder trial. Officials with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office said Tuesday they will request an appeal to overturn a judge’s decision barring video of a paralyzed man identifying his shooter by blinking his eyes two years before he died.

Last week, a judge ruled it would be unconstitutional to include the video in the murder trial of Jermaine Hailes, 23, accused of fatally shooting Melvin Pate during an armed robbery in 2010. Judge Leo E. Green Jr. said including the video would not allow Hailes to confront his accuser, as guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment. But the State’s Attorney’s Office says the video should be allowed because it represents a dying declaration.

— Lynh Bui

Man dies after burns
from portable toilet

A man died Tuesday after suffering burns from a flaming portable toilet in Prince George’s County, authorities said.

A Maryland State Trooper saw the fire about 7 a.m. at Sunnyside Neighborhood Park in College Park and put it out with fire extinguishers, fire officials said. The trooper then pulled the man, who was in his early 20s, out of the plastic structure, and he was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Prince George’s police and fire departments are investigating.

— Lynh Bui

VIRGINIA
Car tires slashed
in Arlington — again

Tires were slashed on 36 cars in the Hall’s Hill neighborhood of Arlington on Monday night, county police said Tuesday.

The overnight attacks appear to have been random, according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, and covered several blocks. A previous rash of tire-slashing in the Cherrydale and Waverly Hills neighborhoods of Arlington focused on Toyota Priuses, but no particular make or model of car was targeted in the latest vandalism, police said. They said they have no suspects.

— Rachel Weiner

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