College Park to increase use of speed cameras; a roundup of news from the region

MARYLAND
College Park to up speed-camera use

Speed cameras near the University of Maryland campus in College Park will soon be in operation around the clock.

College Park decided to increase enforcement in the area where three pedestrians have been struck and killed by cars this year.

The incidents in the Route 1 corridor have shaken the community, prompting local and state officials to make road-safety improvements and redirect engineering and enforcement resources to prevent more tragic deaths.

The plan, according to Mayor Andrew Fellows, is to have at least one camera on Route 1 active 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by the time students return to campus for the fall semester.

Luz Lazo

Man convicted in child-abuse case

A Bowie man was found guilty Wednesday of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy at a pool in Bowie — the last of three child-sex-abuse trials the 54-year-old has faced in the past year and a half.

A Prince George’s County jury convicted Michael David Brochu on three counts of third-degree sex offenses for molesting the boy at the Whitehall Pool and Tennis Club.

The boy, now 14, testified Monday that Brochu offered him a bar of soap while in the showers of the pool in the summer of 2011 and then touched him in his “private area.”

James N. Papirmeister, the attorney for Brochu, told the jury that his client “vehemently denies” the allegations.

Lynh Bui

Appeals court may consider blink case

The question of whether a dying man’s blinks can be used as testimony in a murder trial could go before Maryland’s highest court.

The attorney for a man charged with first-degree murder in Prince George’s County filed a petition this month asking that the Maryland Court of Appeals overturn a lower court decision that would allow jurors to watch video of a man blinking to identify his suspected killer.

Critics say that allowing the video would violate defendant Jermaine Hailes’s Sixth Amendment right to face his accuser through cross-examination.

In May, the Court of Special Appeals concluded that video of Melvin Nathaniel Pate blinking at a photo lineup should be considered a “dying declaration” and could come before a jury.

Lynh Bui

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.
Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.
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