Plea Bargain in Bystander's Slaying
Jimmy J. Shelton, one of four young men charged in the death of Helen Foster-El at East Capitol Dwellings, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and promised to testify against the other suspects.
The guilty plea was delivered in secret Aug. 23 and was ordered sealed for the protection of the jailed 18-year-old. The deal was unsealed at the request of prosecutors in advance of a hearing yesterday in D.C. Superior Court. Shelton's three co-defendants are scheduled to stand trial in October.
"We have now taken the necessary steps to ensure defendant Shelton's safety," prosecutors wrote in a request to Judge Henry F. Greene that the guilty plea be revealed to defense attorneys.
Foster-El was a bystander when she was killed June 21 by a stray bullet fired behind the 100 block of 56th Place SE. Prosecutors contend that all four suspects--Shelton, London Marquis Ford, Derrick Jackson and Kent Chambers--fired shots when an earlier dispute reignited in a gun battle.
Carjacker Pleads Guilty in Montgomery
The man who allegedly carjacked a Chevy Chase woman's car with her infant daughter inside it--dragging the woman as she clung to the car door--pleaded guilty to felony carjacking and reckless endangerment yesterday.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Paul A. McGuckian accepted the plea of David Leander Stratmon, 20, of no fixed address, and set a Nov. 23 court date for sentencing. Stratmon faces a maximum of 35 years in prison and is being held without bail.
Bereano Asks for Brief Legal Suspension
Lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano, battling to salvage his law career in the wake of a federal mail fraud conviction, pleaded with a judge to recommend only a brief suspension of his right to practice law.
Once Maryland's highest-paid lobbyist, he acknowledged at a hearing before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Eugene Lerner that "I have to have a consequence" because of the conviction.
"Hopefully, the court will see that that consequence should be temporary and of a short duration," he said.
Bereano's comments came yesterday at the end of a two-day hearing on a petition by the state Attorney Grievance Commission seeking to have Bereano disbarred. Lerner will forward a report to the Court of Appeals, which will determine whether Bereano should be reprimanded, suspended or disbarred.
Retired D.C. Officer Charged With Assault
A retired D.C. police officer was arrested yesterday on first-degree assault charges stemming from an alleged high-speed flight from Charles County police in August that ended in a four-vehicle collision at a Waldorf intersection.
David Glenn Hicks, 49, was charged with three counts of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree assault, two counts of fleeing and eluding and one count of reckless driving.
On Aug. 25, police said, Hicks was seen driving at high speeds on Route 301 south of Waldorf--at times crossing the median and heading north in southbound lanes and evading police, charging papers allege. One man who was hurt in the collision, Joseph Johnson, 52, of Suitland, is still hospitalized in poor condition.
Hicks retired last year after 20 years with the District police department, police said.
At a bond hearing in Charles County District Court, Judge Gary S. Gasparovic ruled that Hicks was a danger to the community and ordered his bond increased to $200,000. Gasparovic also ordered that two guns found in Hicks's vehicle at the time of the accident be turned over to police.
Hicks told Gasparovic yesterday that the accelerator on his sport-utility vehicle had stuck. Charles County Assistant State's Attorney Matthew R. Stiglitz said the vehicle had no mechanical problems.
Husband Faces Attempted-Murder Charge
An Annapolis man was ruled competent yesterday to face charges of trying to kill his wife in a car crash near the State House this month, his attorney said.
Amy Lund, 32, a state prosecutor in Dorchester County, was injured Sept. 7 when her husband, Douglas Lund, 34, unfastened her seat belt while driving and rammed the car into a fence at a construction site. She was hospitalized for eight days and had to undergo back surgery. He was charged with attempted second-degree murder and held without bail.
A psychiatrist who examined Lund found that Lund understood the charges, said Lund's attorney, Gill Cochran of Annapolis.
Police said Lund complained of sleeplessness the night of the incident and asked his wife to go for a ride with him. His wife told a detective that as they were returning home at 3 a.m., he ran a red light, released her safety belt and slammed into the fence where the new state Senate office building is being built. He then reportedly dragged her from the car and beat her head against the sidewalk.
Cochran said he planned to enter a plea of "not criminally responsible" on Lund's behalf.
"When a man who is 34 years old and never been in trouble in a day in a life, does something to his wife that is very bizarre and totally out of character, you know there is a medical problem," he said.
Top Officials Testify at Young Trial
Top officials in Gov. Parris N. Glendening's administration testified yesterday in the corruption trial of former state senator Larry Young, who is accused of bribery and extortion in connection with the awarding of a state contract for Medicaid services to a Prince George's County-based health care company.
Chief of Staff Major F. Riddick Jr. testified that Young, once an influential Baltimore Democrat, was a frequent visitor at Riddick's State House office, often urging more opportunities for minority-owned businesses. Young is African American, and the company from which he allegedly extorted bribes, PrimeHealth Corp. of Lanham, is owned by a physician, Christian Chinwuba, who is black.
Joseph Millstone, who directs Medicaid programs at the state health department, testified that Young advocated on behalf of PrimeHealth to help it obtain a contract to treat Medicaid patients. He said Young's calls "speeded things up" on the company's application for state work.
Man Charged in Alexandria Slaying
Daniel Wayne Warfield, 19, was charged with murder yesterday by Alexandria police in the Aug. 20 stabbing of Ray Heidebrecht.
Warfield was being held in Charles County for allegedly driving a Chevrolet Caprice with stolen tags. He waived extradition yesterday and was taken back to Alexandria by city police. He is scheduled to be arraigned today.