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Regional Briefing

Saturday, September 12, 2009

CRIME

Woman Pleads Guilty To Abuse of Daughter

A Calvert County woman accused of killing two of her adopted daughters and stuffing their bodies into a freezer pleaded guilty Friday to abusing a third daughter.

Renee Bowman, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree child abuse stemming from eight months of harm inflicted on her 7-year-old daughter, authorities said. The girl was found wandering her neighborhood in Lusby last September. She told police she had jumped out of a window of her locked bedroom.

Laura Martin, Calvert County's state's attorney, said she will seek a 25-year term for Bowman at a December sentencing hearing, which is the maximum for the child abuse charge.

Last year, Bowman admitted beating the child with a "hard-heeled shoe," Calvert authorities have said. She also faces murder charges in Montgomery County related to the deaths of her two older daughters. A trial is scheduled for Nov. 9, according to court records.

The county's top prosecutor, John McCarthy, said he doesn't expect an insanity defense because the deadline for that has passed.

-- Dan Morse

Man Admits Killing Stepdaughter, 12

A D.C. man pleaded guilty Friday in D.C. Superior Court to second-degree murder in the 2008 killing of his 12-year-old stepdaughter.

Felipe Caceres, 46, stood before Judge Frederick H. Weisberg and pleaded guilty in the July 29, 2008, slaying of Marisol Caceres in their apartment in the unit block of Hawaii Avenue NE. They lived there with Marisol's mother, her two older siblings and her 1-year-old nephew.

Marisol was found partially clothed on the living room floor with a plastic bag over her head that had been knotted at the base. There was no sign of forced entry into the apartment.

Medical examiners ruled that Marisol had been beaten and strangled.

Caceres is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 13.

-- Keith L. Alexander

Defense in Wone Case Seeks More Evidence

Defense attorneys representing the three District men charged with obstruction of justice in the 2006 stabbing death of a prominent lawyer told a D.C. Superior Court judge Friday that prosecutors have been slow in turning over evidence that they believe will help in their clients' defense.

Joseph Price, 38; Victor Zaborsky, 43; and Dylan M. Ward, 39, have pleaded not guilty to obstruction charges in the death of Robert Wone, 32, of Oakton. Authorities said Wone, a lawyer with Radio Free Asia, had been drugged, sexually assaulted and stabbed in the Dupont Circle house shared by the three defendants. No one has been charged in the slaying.

The men's attorneys told Judge Frederick H. Weisberg they have been unable to receive several items such as police and ambulance radio runs from the evening of Wone's slaying on Aug. 2, 2006.

The attorneys asked Weisberg to require prosecutors to provide information on the type of medical treatment Wone received in the ambulance and at the hospital. They also sought additional pieces of evidence for DNA testing that were found in the house and encouraged prosecutors to test Wone's remaining blood work to determine what type of drugs -- if any -- were used.

Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Patrick Martin said that there were about 270 pieces of evidence in the case and that his office was turning over each piece to defense counsel as quickly as possible.

Martin said he expects to have much of the requested evidence to the defense attorneys by the next hearing, Nov. 13. The trial is scheduled for May 2010.

-- Keith L. Alexander

Leesburg Accident Victim Identified

A man who was killed in Leesburg on Thursday while riding in a car that slammed into the back of a dump truck has been identified as Adam S. Katz, 26, of Ashburn, and the driver has been charged with driving drunk.

Leesburg police said Katz was a passenger in a Toyota Solara driven by Justin R. Schuback, 25, of Ashburn. Schuback was heading west on Market Street (Route 7) near the intersection with Battlefield Parkway about 1:40 p.m. when the Solara hit the back of a large dump truck. Schuback then fled the scene, police said.

Schuback was picked up about a half-mile away, Lt. Wes Thompson said. Katz was pronounced dead at the scene. Schuback was charged later Thursday with felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence.

-- Tom Jackman

TRANSPORTATION

19 Slightly Injured In 2-Bus Accident

A charter bus crashed into the back of a stopped Metrobus in Southeast Washington during Friday morning's rush, officials said, sending 19 people to a hospital with minor injuries.

The accident happened just before 7:45 a.m. in the 2300 block of Good Hope Road on a rainy morning, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Nineteen people on the Metrobus reported injuries, including the driver, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. He said all the reported injuries appeared to be minor.

Deputy Chief Kenneth Crosswhite, a spokesman for the fire department, said there were several passengers on the charter bus, but only its driver complained of injuries. He said 13 adults and six children were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

There were 54 people on the Metrobus, which was traveling on Route 90 toward the Duke Ellington Bridge when the accident happened, Taubenkibel said.

The Metrobus driver, whose name was not released, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, which is standard procedure, officials said. The driver has worked for Metro since September 2006, the agency said.

D.C. police spokesman Kenny Bryson said his department's traffic unit is investigating the accident.

-- James Hohmann

Homeland Security Funding to Metro

Metro will receive $78.3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enhance the security of the system, its riders and employees, the agency announced Thursday.

Metro said it will use the money to hire additional police officers and explosives-detecting dogs, install surveillance cameras on rail cars and buses, and implement and enhance emergency training for employees. It said $11 million will go toward creating 25 positions for the Metro Transit Police, including 20 additional officers for new anti-terrorism teams.

Metro also plans to design and install cameras at each of its 153 station entrances. The funds will also be used to improve gates at the ends of station platforms to prevent people from entering tunnels.

A complete list of Metro's proposed projects can be found on its Web site.

-- Yamiche Alcindor

Maryland Receives Stimulus Funds

An additional $30 million in federal stimulus funding will be spent in Maryland to resurface highways, improve bridges and rehabilitate a bus maintenance facility in Baltimore, state officials said Friday.

Maryland also has applied for $200 million more under a federal stimulus grant program to improve rail systems shared by freight and passenger trains; build a transit maintenance facility to serve Howard and Anne Arundel counties; replace a pier in Baltimore Harbor; improve intersections near Fort Meade, the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the National Military Medical Center; and construct an access road at the Branch Avenue Metro station.

-- Ashley Halsey III

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