No Bond for Suspect in Activist's Death
A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday ordered a murder suspect held without bond in the death of advisory neighborhood commissioner Dennis Dolinger, although some of the blood found at the scene matches neither Dolinger's nor the suspect's.
Stephen C. Watson, 45, is charged with first-degree felony murder based principally on the fact that he was using one of the dead man's credit cards within hours of Dolinger's June 4 stabbing.
Watson offered several versions of how he acquired the card, said police, who added that they discovered papers belonging to Dolinger when they searched Watson's residence in the 1500 block of King Street in Alexandria.
"The best the government has in this case is credit-card fraud. Nothing more than that," defense attorney Harry Tun argued before Judge Patricia A. Wynn. He called the government's case "thin, at best."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Keeney said the FBI tested blood from Dolinger's Capitol Hill residence and gleaned DNA from two of nine samples. The prosecutor said the DNA belongs to a third person, still unidentified.
Worker Who Stole From UDC Sentenced
A woman who admitted stealing $69,000 from the University of the District of Columbia was ordered yesterday to spend eight months in a halfway house.
Tammy D. Fendell worked in the university's administrative offices and was responsible for handling parking revenue generated by a UDC garage. Prosecutors said she shortchanged UDC on a regular basis from August 1997 until May 1998. She resigned last year after investigators began raising questions.
Fendell, 38, of Northwest Washington, pleaded guilty in May to a theft charge in U.S. District Court. Several dozen supporters attended the proceedings, and many wrote letters urging Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to show mercy.
Sullivan gave Fendell the minimum term under federal sentencing guidelines.
He also ordered her to make full restitution and perform 200 hours of community service. "It's a mess, but you can recover from this and get on with your life," he said, adding that he hoped she would be placed in a work-release program.
Riverdale Man Guilty of Firearms Violation
A Riverdale man was convicted in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt yesterday on a federal firearms charge, Maryland U.S. Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia announced.
Kevin Darnall Anderson, 26, was found guilty by a federal jury of possessing a firearm after being convicted of a state crime punishable by more than one year in prison.
On Oct. 8, 1997, Anderson was arrested by U.S. marshals serving an unrelated arrest warrant from the District, Battaglia said in a news release.
Marshals found the gun, a Colt .45 semiautomatic pistol, and turned it over to the Prince George's County police. The gun was stolen from its owner in Woodbridge on Dec. 18, 1995, Battaglia said.
U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing for Oct. 22. Anderson faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Teen Fugitive Returned to Virginia
A Gloucester area teenager who vanished in July 1997 on the eve of his sentencing in a robbery case was returned to Virginia on Wednesday, nearly two years to the day after his mysterious disappearance after a boating accident.
The family of Sage Weakland, 18, had said they believed he drowned in the July 29, 1997, collision of his fishing boat with an anchored merchant vessel in the James River. But no body was ever found. Weakland was arrested July 14 in Las Vegas.
On the trip back from Nevada, Weakland indicated "he was glad it was over," said Maj. Michael L. Nicely of the Gloucester County Sheriff's office.
Weakland's sentencing on the robbery charge is set for Aug. 25.