Local digest

July 17
THE DISTRICT
Innovation hire
for city schools

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has hired Robert Simmons, a professor of urban education whose work focuses on the experiences of African American boys, for a new senior-level position as the school system’s chief of innovation and research.

Simmons said he decided to take an indefinite sabbatical from his current job, as director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Loyola University Maryland, after Henderson approached him about coming to work for D.C. Public Schools.

Simmons said he has been tasked with co-leading the school system’s nascent initiative to improve outcomes for African American males, whose graduation rate — 38 percent — lags far behind the city average.

— Emma Brown

VIRGINIA
Man convicted
in roommate killing

A Fairfax County jury convicted a Franconia man of manslaughter this week for bludgeoning his roommate to death in November 2012, according to court records and his attorney.

The jury sentenced Eric C. Kweder, 35, to 10 years in prison in the killing of 32-year-old Andy Yu. Fairfax County prosecutors had been seeking a conviction on a murder charge, but Deputy Public Defender Dawn Butorac argued that her client was not guilty by reason of insanity.

Butorac said that Kweder, who was a Post All-Met runner in the mid-90s, suffered from schizophrenia and that voices were telling him to kill Yu.

— Justin Jouvenal

Woman guilty
in string of fires

A woman charged in a string of arson-caused fires on the Eastern Shore has been found guilty in her second trial.

WAVY-TV reports a jury convicted Tonya S. Bundick on Tuesday of setting a fire March 3, 2013, in Accomack County. The jury recommended a sentence of 3.5 years and a $10,000 fine. She’ll be sentenced in September.

The trial was moved to Virginia Beach Circuit Court because of difficulty in finding impartial jurors in Accomack County.

In April a judge ruled that Bundick can have separate trials on each of 62 arson charges.

Bundick awaits sentencing after entering an Alford plea in January to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa.

Co-defendant Charles R. Smith has pleaded guilty to 67 arson counts and a conspiracy charge. He’s awaiting sentencing.

— Associated Press

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