Sentencing Set in Crack House Slayings

A Nov. 19 sentencing has been set for a Southeast Washington man convicted last week in the July 1996 slayings of three women in a crack house in the Capital View neighborhood.

Lydell Banks, 22, was convicted Friday of three counts of first-degree murder and weapons charges in the July 1996 attacks on Katrina Davis, 23, Constance Simms, 40, and Karen Coleman, 36, in an abandoned house used by drug addicts in the 100 block of 57th Place SE.

Banks also was convicted of one count of assault with intent to kill and weapons charges in the near-fatal shooting of Leon Brown, 40, the only victim to survive the crack house shootings.

Banks's conviction last week culminated his second trial on the charges. A week earlier, a jury had deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of conviction.

Banks, who already is serving 20 years after pleading guilty to an armed robbery and shooting that occurred a half-hour before the crack house attacks, was connected to those crimes after officials matched bullets from the robbery victim and the dead women.

Indictments in NW Racial Slur Case

Two men have been indicted on charges relating to verbal assaults on several African Americans--including a police officer--in Adams-Morgan over the summer, U.S. Attorney Wilma A. Lewis said.

David Paul Nugent, 31, of Northwest Washington, and Michael John Burns, 27, of Stafford, were arraigned yesterday in D.C. Superior Court. Their trial has been scheduled for Jan. 11.

The two men allegedly shouted racial epithets and threats at several people July 17 as the two drove through the 2400 block of 18th Street NW. After a police officer arrived on the scene, Burns allegedly verbally assaulted and threatened her.

Police Probing Death of Man, 24, in NW

Police are investigating the death of a 24-year-old man found Saturday night in the 2000 Block of Georgia Avenue NW.

George Morris, with no listed address, was found with gunshot wounds at 7:52 p.m. Saturday, police said. He was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:32 p.m. Police ask anyone with information to call 202-673-6914 or the D.C. Crime Solvers Unit at 800-673-2777.


Unidentified Woman Found Dead in Laurel

An unidentified dead woman was found in a patch of woods near a Laurel apartment complex and elementary school yesterday afternoon, Prince George's County police said.

The body was discovered about 1:50 p.m. by a woman who was walking her dog along the 13100 block of Larchdale Road, near James H. Harrison Elementary School, police said. Investigators described the woman as in her late twenties or early thirties and said she was fully clothed.

Sgt. Gary Cunningham, a police spokesman, said it was unclear when the woman died. He said the body, which was found on the crest of a ravine about 20 yards from the road, would be taken to the chief medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.


Father Indicted in Shaking Death of Son

A Dale City father was indicted by a Prince William County grand jury yesterday on three counts of child abuse and one count of felony murder for his alleged role in the shaking death of his 7-week-old son.

Police said that Ricardo Robles, 21, admitted to violently shaking his son, Jesus, on several occasions and slamming the baby's head into the floor, causing a massive ear-to-ear skull fracture. Jesus died June 11 after being diagnosed with "shaken-baby syndrome" and spending six days in the hospital.

The baby's mother has not been charged, and police said she did not know how the baby sustained the injuries. Police said that Robles told differing versions of his story before telling them that he shook Jesus over the course of a few days and hit the infant's head on the ground.

Guilty Plea in Attempted Illegal Export

A 53-year-old resident of Vietnam pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a charge of attempting to export defense equipment to Israel without a license.

Shalom Shaphyr, an Israeli national who operates Sky Media Ltd., a business with offices in Vietnam and England, was arrested in Alexandria in July after trying to buy restricted video intercept equipment from undercover federal agents for $30,000. The equipment is designed to covertly receive the electromagnetic signals radiated by computers--which could include those dealing in sensitive or classified material--and then reproduce the data. The export of video intercept equipment from the United States requires a license issued by the Office of Defense Trade Controls.

As part of his plea agreement, investigators said, Shaphyr admitted that he instructed the undercover agent to export the equipment to Israel, and completed shipping papers that erroneously identified the equipment as video reception test equipment with a value of $1,500.

Shaphyr faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $1 million fine and three years of supervised release when he is sentenced Dec. 23 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.