VIRGINIA BRIEFING

VIRGINIA BRIEFING

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

FAIRFAX COUNTY

D.C. Officer's Husband in Standoff at Hotel

The husband of a D.C. police sergeant barricaded himself inside a hotel room last night and fired shots from his wife's service gun, Fairfax County authorities said. No one was struck.

The standoff continued into early today.

The incident began about 7:20 p.m., when the man locked himself in a room at the Homestead Studio Suites in the 12100 block of Monument Drive in Fairfax, a few blocks from Fair Oaks Mall, police said. The man's name was not released.

After police arrived, the man fired several shots, which did not appear to be aimed at anyone, said Mary Ann Jennings, a Fairfax police spokeswoman. D.C. police sources said the gun belonged to the man's wife.

Police cordoned off the area, evacuated some nearby apartments and cut off traffic along several blocks of Monument Drive.

Jennings said the nearby rooms were not occupied, and the hotel was not evacuated as police negotiators, communicating by phone, tried to persuade the man to surrender.

-- Clarence Williams and Allan Lengel

YOUTH INTERNET SAFETY

Crackdown on Predators Recommended

A panel studying Internet safety recommended several measures yesterday to help law enforcement agencies better track and prosecute sexual predators.

Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) said the Youth Internet Safety Task Force is proposing tough new sentences for people engaged in the production and financing of child pornography and for those who illegally solicit children online.

The report called for new laws to make it a crime to solicit sex from teenagers who are 15 to 17 years old. Currently, it's a crime only if the teenager is younger than 15. McDonnell said the task force also wants to establish mandatory minimum sentences for sexual predators and expand law enforcement authority to subpoena information from Internet providers.

-- Tim Craig

'NORFOLK FOUR' CASE

Man Must Await State's Appeal in Prison

A judge in Norfolk who ruled last month that a convicted murderer should be retried or released decided yesterday that the man should stay in prison while prosecutors appeal.

Derek E. Tice, 36, is one of the "Norfolk Four" sailors convicted of raping and murdering Michelle Moore-Bosko, 18, in her Norfolk apartment in 1997. The four have challenged their convictions, saying that DNA evidence pointed to a fifth man, Omar Ballard, who eventually confessed, pleaded guilty and said he acted alone.

Tice originally confessed in a statement to Norfolk detectives. Circuit Court Judge Everett A. Martin Jr. overturned his conviction in November, ruling that Tice had invoked his right to silence and that his attorney should have pushed to have the confession thrown out.

But in a hearing yesterday, the judge said Tice must stay in prison while the state attorney general's office appeals, a process that should take about a year, said Deborah Boardman, one of Tice's attorneys. Boardman said the state indicated yesterday that it will retry Tice if the Virginia Supreme Court rejects the appeal.

-- Tom Jackman


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