MARYLAND

Judge Asked to Reconsider Teen's Release

Montgomery County prosecutors have asked a judge to reconsider his decision to release a 16-year-old rapist from a juvenile detention facility, where the judge said the youth was not getting proper counseling. A hearing date for the motion, which prosecutors filed Thursday, has not been set.

After criticizing the Department of Juvenile Justice for failing to ensure that the youth got proper counseling during the past year, Montgomery District Court Judge Dennis McHugh released the teenager Tuesday to live with relatives in Prince George's County and to get outpatient therapy.

The teenager was found responsible for participating with five other teenagers in a three-hour gang rape in March 1998. Prosecutors said the group took turns raping, sodomizing and beating a 15-year-old girl after luring her to a vacant Wheaton apartment.

Police Seek Public's Help in Case

Maryland State Police are asking for the public's help as they continue to investigate the shooting deaths last week near an Eastern Shore bridge of two children in the back of a Jeep that their father drove.

The children's father, Richard Wayne Spicknall II, has been charged with first-degree murder in their deaths.

Police are seeking people who were near the fishing pier that spans the Choptank River in Talbot and Dorchester counties from 10 p.m. Sept. 8 to 3 a.m. Sept. 9. Detectives also are trying to find motorists who traveled across the Frederick C. Malkus Jr. Memorial bridge on Route 50 during that time, police said yesterday.

Police said Spicknall initially told investigators that he was carjacked on the bridge by an armed hitchhiker who threw him into the water and drove away with his children, Destiny, 3, and Richie, 2.

Police ask anyone with information to call Sgt. Joe Gamble at 410-822-3101.

THE DISTRICT

Man Charged in Beating Death

A 55-year-old man has been charged in the death of a man who was found beaten Saturday behind his home in Northwest Washington, police said.

Haneef Muhammad, whose address was not known, was charged with killing Christopher Douglas, 31, who was found at 4:20 p.m. Saturday in the rear of the 2200 block of Georgia Avenue NW, police said.

They said Douglas had been struck on the body and head. He died at 11:55 p.m. at Howard University Hospital.

VIRGINIA

Woman Gets Jail for Reckless Driving

A 22-year-old Stafford woman was sentenced Thursday to 12 months in jail, with 10 suspended, a $2,500 fine and a six-month driver's license suspension in Fairfax County District Court for reckless driving in connection with a head-on crash March 27 that took the life of a 70-year-old woman from Smithfield, Va.

Police had originally charged Melody Pete with driving under the influence of drugs, but tests showed she was drug-free.

Police said Pete's sedan went out of control and crossed the double yellow line on the Ox Road section of Route 123, striking the car carrying Florence Effie Sessoms and other family members. A prosecutor said Pete is being allowed to keep her license while she appeals the conviction.

Mail Carrier Sentenced for Check Scam

An Anacostia mail carrier was sentenced yesterday in federal court to three months in prison and six months in a halfway house for stealing boxes of blank checks from about 200 postal customers and then selling them for $50 a box to accomplices, who bought $430,000 in merchandise, which was sold for cash.

Herbert Bigby, 30, of Bowie, who was assigned to the Anacostia post office, pleaded guilty in July in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to one count of conspiracy for stealing checks from February 1996 to January 1998.