Local Digest: Barry will be at event to promote organ donation ‘in spirit’

February 21
THE DISTRICT
Event to promote organ donation

A crowd is expected to gather Saturday at Howard University to promote organ donation — without the District’s most well-known organ-donation recipient.

Former mayor and current D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has been organizing the event, marking the fifth anniversary of his successful kidney transplant, from his hospital bed in recent weeks, aides said. He was released from MedStar Washington Hospital Center earlier this week, but he remains admitted to an in-patient physical therapy program as he recovers from his second extended hospital stay in four weeks.

Barry was not able to be interviewed Friday, but a spokeswoman, LaToya Foster, said he would be at the Saturday celebration “in spirit.” She said the event will encourage minorities and others to start talking about organ donation and kidney disease.

The other half of the guests-of-honor duo, who is expected to be present, is Kim Dickens, the friend who donated a kidney to Barry in 2009.

— Aaron C. Davis

Autopsy says woman was strangled

A woman who was found unconscious in a Southeast Washington apartment Thursday night was the victim of a homicide, according to D.C. police.

Detra Martin, 48, of Southeast, died at an area hospital shortly after arriving, police said. An autopsy determined she had been strangled, according to a police statement.

Police said they were called to the apartment, in the 800 block of Southern Avenue SE, shortly before 11 p.m. Police would not release more details, nor would they say who called 911. No arrests have been made.

— Peter Hermann

VIRGINIA
Man charged in roommate’s death

A 32-year-old Falls Church man was charged with murder Thursday in the killing of his roommate, Fairfax County police said.

Marlon Oswaldo Gudiel Polanco, 32, is being held and is accused of stabbing Alvaro Zepeda, 44, to death Thursday morning inside the apartment they shared in the 2900 block of John Marshall Drive. An adult female suffered injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.

Police were called to the apartment around 6:20 a.m. for a report of a stabbing. By the time they arrived, Polanco had departed. Police said they found him hiding near the building.

Police declined to discuss a motive for the attack.

— Justin Jouvenal

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