Local Digest

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Officers, dead man identified after shooting

Authorities have identified the man shot and killed by Prince George's County police Monday after he was allegedly threatening residents with a handgun in a Landover neighborhood.

Trayvon Dodson, 19, of the 6500 block of Hansford Street in District Heights pointed a handgun at a teenage boy, and at least three residents called to report that he was acting strangely as he walked up and down the 1800 block of Ray Leonard Road just after 2 p.m., police have said.

Officers arrived in less than a minute, found Dodson and told him to drop his weapon, authorities have said. When Dodson pointed the gun toward them, four officers opened fire, authorities have said.

It is unclear how many shots were fired or how many times Dodson was hit, police have said.

All four of the officers who fired have been put on paid administrative leave while the case is investigated. Police identified them Tuesday as Cpl. Herbert Aiken, Cpl. Dwayne Smith, Officer Richard Clark and Officer Timothy Hancock. All were assigned to the District III station, police said. Attempts to reach a member of Dodson's family were not immediately successful.

- Matt Zapotosky

House passes bill altering parole rules

The Maryland House of Delegates narrowly passed a bill Tuesday designed to force the governor's hand on languishing parole recommendations for eligible inmates serving life sentences.

There are at least 49 inmates with life sentences awaiting a decision from Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) after receiving a positive recommendation from the Parole Commission, according to legislative staff.

Under the bill, which passed 74 to 66, inmates who have served at least 25 years and receive positive recommendations would be granted parole if the governor does not act within 90 days.

Supporters said the new procedure would keep governors from sitting on parole decisions for political reasons and restore meaning to sentences of "life with the possibility of parole."

Opponents said it would instead result in more murderers and rapists going free, predicting that governors would duck responsibility for decisions made by the Parole Commission.

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