Virginia Briefing

Virginia Teen Charged With Killing Stepmother's; Study Finds Soaring Correction Costs in Virginia; Most Virginia Farmers Have Other Jobs

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Stepson Is Charged in Slaying

A Fairfax County teenager accused of killing his stepmother in Reston last year has been arrested and charged with murder, Fairfax police said yesterday.

Zaida Alvarez Rodriguez, 42, was found unresponsive April 3 in her apartment on Greywing Square, in the Springs apartment complex in the Hunters Woods area of Reston. She was taken to Reston Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead. Police have declined to release a cause of death, other than to say she suffered "trauma to the upper body."

Detectives soon obtained a warrant for Elvin Rodriguez-Juarez, who was then 17. He was located in Houston last month, police said, and arrested Feb. 17 by U.S. marshals there. He agreed to be extradited to Virginia and was returned to Fairfax on Feb. 25.

-- Tom Jackman


Correctional Costs Have Soared

A study shows that one in 46 adults in Virginia is either behind bars or on probation or parole, and the costs to manage that population have skyrocketed in the past two decades.

The Pew Center on the States report, released yesterday, says that spending for prisons in the state has nearly tripled since 1988. Nearly $740 million was spent on prisons in 2008, up from about $254.5 million two decades earlier.

A little more than half of 129,681 people under correctional control in Virginia were locked up.

The report says that for every dollar spent to keep inmates behind bars in 2008, 11 cents was spent on probation and parole.

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