THE REGION

Mail Carrier Guilty of Conspiracy

An Anacostia mail carrier has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to a conspiracy charge after stealing boxes of blank checks from about 200 postal customers and then arranging for accomplices with fake IDs to write checks for $430,000 in merchandise, which was sold for cash.

Herbert Bigby, 30, of Bowie, who was assigned to the Anacostia post office, pleaded guilty on Tuesday. He faces up to five years in prison for stealing checks from February 1996 to January 1998. Prosecutors alleged that he sold the checks for $50 a box to an associate, Richard Rosebar, 33, of the District. Investigators said Rosebar recruited accomplices, furnished them with fake IDs and had them use the checks to purchase expensive items, which he then sold.

Rosebar has been indicted on one count of conspiracy and four counts of bank fraud and is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 3.

MARYLAND

Man Admits Killing Ex-Girlfriend

An Adelphi man pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his former girlfriend at her Takoma Park apartment in September, authorities said.

Robert Bow, 33, faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 7.

Montgomery County prosecutors said Bow went to the apartment of Stacey Cannon, 25, in the 800 block of Juniper Street, armed with a 9mm handgun, three loaded clips, 100 loose rounds of ammunition, two pairs of handcuffs, a knife and the key to her apartment.

Neighbors who reported screams coming from the apartment called 911 about 4:15 a.m., and police arrived to find Bow struggling with Cannon on the back porch. As officers approached, prosecutors said, Bow dragged her into the apartment, and then officers heard two shots.

Bow was arrested after a standoff with a police SWAT team. Police found Cannon shot twice and lying in the bathtub.

VIRGINIA

Librarian Accused of Hitting Boy

A Prince William County elementary school librarian has been charged with assault and battery for allegedly slapping a 9-year-old boy who refused to remove a lollipop from his mouth.

Prince William police obtained an arrest warrant for Matthew Beall, 48, of Dahlgreen Place in Burke, a librarian at Minnieville Elementary School, but have not made an arrest because Beall is out of town, said police spokeswoman Kim Chinn. Beall allegedly slapped the boy across the face after the student attempted to enter the school's library with a lollipop in his mouth.

Chinn said Beall allegedly knocked the candy from the boy's mouth after telling him several times to get rid of it. The incident was reported to police on June 12, and the arrest warrant was issued Friday after a month-long investigation. Beall faces one charge of assault and battery, which carries a maximum of one year in jail.

'Deceased' Fugitive Arrested

A convicted teenage robber from Norfolk was arrested yesterday in Las Vegas, two years after he vanished during a boating accident the night before he was to be sentenced.

Sage Alexander Weakland's family had maintained that he went overboard during the accident on July 29, 1997, and died.

But authorities always suspected that Weakland, then 16, faked his death to avoid going to jail for three years on robbery and conspiracy charges.

"I'm so glad to know he's alive and well, and I want to do my part to make sure we can keep him alive and well for the next 20 years," said Bob Hicks, the commonwealth's attorney who prosecuted Weakland and placed his name on a national crime database identifying him as a fugitive.

Weakland, now 18, was picked up by an FBI criminal apprehension team, the FBI in Norfolk said. The team is made up of FBI agents, police and U.S. marshals. Marshals had been tipped that Weakland was in Las Vegas, said Al Cervantes, head of the group.

Weakland, who "put up quite a fight," is to appear tomorrow before a magistrate in Las Vegas, Cervantes said.

If he does not fight extradition, the Gloucester County sheriff will send deputies to Las Vegas to bring Weakland back to Virginia.

Weakland let his hair grow long, was using the alias Eugene Weakland Jr. and had been working odd jobs in the Las Vegas area since March, said Patty Schlosser, an FBI spokeswoman in Norfolk.

Weakland disappeared after his father's 19-foot fishing boat slammed into a 2,200-ton merchant ship anchored in the James River in Newport News.

His father, Eugene Weakland, went overboard and was rescued.

Weakland may have to serve a lot more time than the three years to which prosecutors originally had agreed.

Weakland would have been in a youthful offender program, Hicks said. Now, he could face up to life in prison for robbery, plus up to 10 years for fleeing, Hicks said.