VIRGINIA

Ad Writer Faces Robbery Charges

A 41-year-old advertising copywriter from Manassas has been arrested and charged with robbing a bank in the Tysons Corner area in October and with attempting to rob the same bank Wednesday, Fairfax County police said.

Police said Gregory P. Ellis was arrested Thursday night at his home and charged with robbing and attempting to rob a Wachovia Bank branch. He was being held without bond in the county jail.

Police said they will try to determine whether Ellis is connected to any of about 15 other bank robberies and robbery attempts in Northern Virginia.

Tax Scam Yields 57-Month Sentence

A Woodbridge tax accountant who was convicted in June of 22 counts of filing false tax returns for clients, several of whom he said were owed a "black tax credit" in reparation for slavery, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to 57 months in prison.

Gregory A. Bridges, 36, also was ordered to pay $50,000 in back federal taxes on his own income and was banned from preparing tax returns for others.

Bridges, a former employee of the U.S. Postal Service, operated Victory Tax & Credit Consulting Services. He prepared false tax returns for clients by knowingly overstating deductions for medical expenses, charitable contributions and employee business expenses, according to investigators.

Bridges also claimed a "black tax credit" for some clients in 1995. He told them that African Americans could legitimately claim the credit as reparations for slavery and other oppressive treatment suffered by black people over the last 200 years.

THE DISTRICT

Treatment Weighed in Capitol Killings

A federal judge in the District said he will decide in "the next several days" whether to require U.S. Capitol shooting suspect Russell Eugene Weston Jr. to take anti-psychotic medicine against his will.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan heard final testimony yesterday from a North Carolina prison psychiatrist who said she believes drugs would improve Weston's mental health and perhaps prepare him to stand trial in the July 1998 deaths of U.S. Capitol Police Officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson.

Weston, diagnosed as schizophrenic, has become "increasingly paranoid and more hostile" in recent weeks, according to federal prison psychiatrist Sally C. Johnson, who testified via video monitor, with Weston and one of his attorneys seated nearby.

Largely silent in recent contacts with family and prison staff members, Weston occupies "a very isolated position, where he is basically left with his paranoid ideas and his misperceptions of what is going on around him," Johnson said. She considers him a danger to himself and others.

Defense attorneys said they have ethical questions about forcing Weston to take anti-psychotic medicine. They also worry about the ethics of requiring drugs that not only might make him competent to stand trial on murder charges but also could lead to his execution if he is convicted of a capital offense.

Marijuana, Cash Seized; 4 Arrested

D.C. police seized 30 pounds of marijuana and more than $34,000 in cash yesterday after serving search warrants at two Northwest Washington locations, authorities said. Police said four people were arrested.

Police said the warrants were served at 3900 14th St. and at 1445 Otis Pl. NW. The four people arrested were identified as Mark Charles, 38, of the 1300 block of Oak Street NW; Larry Harmon, 48, of the 600 block of Morton Street NE; Albert Brown, 62, of the 600 block of Longfellow Street NW; and Janice Landell, 26, of the 14th Street address.

Police said the four suspects were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.