THE DISTRICT

Man Convicted of Murder During Robbery

A D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday convicted a District man of murder in the March 17, 1997, shooting death of Jesse Baker, an apartment building owner killed during a Southeast Washington robbery.

Steven R. Crockett, 25, faces as long as life in prison without parole when Judge Linda Turner Hamilton sentences him Oct. 7 for felony murder, armed robbery and other charges in the case, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

The jury heard that Crockett and a friend, Denon Kitt, accosted Baker after he visited a building he owned in the 3700 block of First Street SE. They pointed a gun at Baker, searched his pockets and forced him into his own car.

A tenant recognized Kitt through a mask and called police. Other tenants, who respected the 55-year-old Baker, joined the frantic search, prosecutors said. Two hours later, Baker's naked body was found in his car in an alley behind Prout Street SE.

A Superior Court jury convicted Kitt, who is serving 50 years to life, of first-degree murder in April 1998. Crockett remained a fugitive until June 1998.

VIRGINIA

Grand Jury Indicts GOP Activist

An Arlington grand jury yesterday indicted Kevin Sabo, a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board and a Republican Party activist, on a charge of attempted malicious wounding.

Police allege that Sabo, 37, a former congressional candidate who also served as general counsel to two congressional committees, cut the brake lines on an Arlington woman's car, causing her to crash the vehicle into a fence.

The woman, identified in court papers as Heather Lawrence, was driving her 1997 Volkswagen Jetta on Brookside Drive about 9:26 a.m. March 17 when she realized her brakes weren't working, police said. She was approaching the busy intersection with Washington Boulevard and veered off the roadway and struck a fence, they said.

Police said Lawrence, described as an acquaintance of Sabo's, was not injured but that her car was damaged. Sabo waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and the case was sent straight to the grand jury. In a previous interview, Sabo denied the allegations.

Uncle Charged After Girl Is Locked in Car

A 23-year-old Herndon man has been charged with child abuse after allegedly leaving his 4-year-old niece in his locked car on a hot afternoon, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

Police said Sergio Tobar, of the 1200 block of Magnolia Lane, was visiting a relative in Columbia Reston Hospital about 12:25 p.m. Thursday when the young girl was spotted by two passersby. The girl was inside Tobar's 1988 Toyota Camry with the windows rolled up and the doors locked, while the temperature was 90 degrees, police said.

Firefighters retrieved the girl from the car, then took her inside to the emergency room, where she was treated and released to her father. Tobar was arrested Friday and taken to the Fairfax County jail, where he remained yesterday in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Former Police Chief Gets Jail Term

The former police chief of Appalachia was sentenced yesterday to 60 days in jail for embezzling about $1,900 from a police department benevolent fund.

Retired Judge David Brown also placed Roy Lee Munsey on two years' probation and ordered him to pay a $500 fine and $1,314.02 in restitution, less than the amount embezzled because of questions about how all the money was spent.

Munsey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor embezzlement in July in Wise County General District Court. He faced a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The Town Council decided last summer not to reappoint Munsey but gave no reason. He was arrested in March.