MARYLAND

Justice Dept. to Probe Slaying

The Justice Department said yesterday that it will investigate the fatal shooting last week of a Baltimore man by city police officers to determine if civil rights laws were violated.

NAACP President Kweisi Mfume sought the investigation, saying the civil rights organization was concerned about the discrepancy between the police version of Larry Hubbard's shooting Oct. 7 and eyewitness accounts. Police said that Hubbard, 21, was shot in the head while struggling with officers Barry W. Hamilton and Robert J. Quick Jr. after being pulled over while driving a stolen car.

Officials said Hubbard fell on Quick while he was being handcuffed and tried to pull the officer's gun from his holster. Hamilton shot Hubbard in the head to protect his partner, police said.

But witnesses have said that Hubbard begged for his life before he was shot. "One of the cops said 'Don't move or I'll blow your brains out,' " said Shekia McCauley, 24. Hubbard, she said, "was saying 'Don't shoot me.' They shot him, close up, point-blank."

Col. John Gavrilis, acting Baltimore police commissioner, said his department will continue with its own investigation as well. He said he welcomes a "third-party review of the facts in this case."

Man Convicted of Sex Crimes

A Frederick County Circuit Court jury convicted a computer consultant yesterday of molesting a 5-year-old girl and persuading another man over the Internet to abuse the girl, too.

The jury deliberated 2 1/2 hours before convicting Scott Edward Yingling of five sex-related offenses. He faces up to 75 years in prison at his sentencing Dec. 1.

Yingling, 33, had denied having any sexual contact with the 5-year-old. He also denied trying to molest her 6-year-old sister.

Yingling testified during the week-long trial that his raunchy messages inviting fellow America Online subscribers to abuse the younger girl were ruses aimed at exposing the other defendants in the case--the girl's mother and computer programmer Daniel C. Benton of Poolesville. Both testified against Yingling in return for leniency from prosecutors.

While the jury deliberated, Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer sentenced Benton to 20 years in prison for molesting the 5-year-old. The girl's mother is expected to plead guilty today to one count of second-degree sex offense involving her 2-year-old son in return for a sentence of no more than 10 years. Prosecutors have agreed to drop six other counts, including child abuse, second-degree assault and perverted practice.

Reward for Clues in Slayings

The family and friends of a slain veterinarian and his wife are offering $12,000 to anyone who can provide clues leading to an arrest in the Sept. 15 shootings at a Bladensburg animal hospital.

Prince George's County police said they have followed numerous leads since the killings of Nirwan T. Thapar, 61, and his wife, Shashi, 52, but have no suspects and know of no clear motive.

"We believe it was a robbery, but we're not ruling anything out," said Cpl. Diane Richardson of the Prince George's County Crime Solvers program.

The reward is largely funded by dozens of Thapar's veterinary colleagues from across the country, a family member said. Those with tips should call the Prince George's County Crime Solvers hot line at 301-735-1111 or 800-673-2777.

VIRGINIA

Man Charged in Web Scheme

A Clifton area man who allegedly tried to solicit teenage girls through the Internet by advertising himself as a biology tutor has been arrested and charged with two sex-related felonies.

Police said they were alerted to a personal advertisement on the Internet to tutor high school girls in biology and reproduction. A Fairfax County police detective answered the ad posing as a teenage girl and began communicating with a man later identified as Donald W. Beatty, 60, of Beaver Creek Road. Police allege that Beatty solicited sex acts and transmitted child pornography while communicating with the detective.

Beatty was charged with production and distribution of child pornography and with using the communications system to facilitate crimes involving children. Beatty was arrested after the detective arranged to meet him at a Fairfax County park. He was released on $40,000 bond.

Man Left Note, Killed Wife

Prince William County police believe a man who shot his wife called 911 and left a note on the front door before he killed himself Sunday.

Christopher Kopf, 46, a member of the U.S. Secret Service's uniformed division, shot and killed his wife, Mary, 44, in the master bedroom of their Hunters Grove Road home Sunday afternoon, police said. Friends of the family said Mary Kopf had recently initiated divorce proceedings and was there to collect her belongings.

Police responded to the home after receiving a 911 call with no voice on the other end. According to a search warrant filed in Prince William County Circuit Court, police found a note on the front door that said "911 in master bedroom."

Police seized two shotguns, a rifle, a pistol, three different unspecified medications and assorted handwritten notes from the home, one of which police said was a suicide note.

The slaying was the 13th this year in Prince William County, setting a record in the county since the police department was founded in 1970.

THE DISTRICT

Police Identify Slain Man

A man found fatally shot Monday night in Northeast Washington was identified yesterday by D.C. police as Daniel Bennett, 23, of the 1100 Block of Morse Street NE.

Bennett was found lying in the road near a moped in the 800 block of H Street NE, police said. He was pronounced dead at D.C. General Hospital at 11:45 p.m.

Police ask that anyone with information on the case call 202-727-4504 or 800-673-2777.

Police Investigating NE Slaying

D.C. police are investigating the death of a 19-year-old Bladensburg man who was shot and killed in Northeast Washington.

Dexter Lamont McKee, of the 4300 block of 57th Avenue in Bladensburg, was shot early Sunday in the 2100 block of Queens Chapel Road. A friend drove him to D.C. General Hospital, police said.

Police were called to the hospital at 4:18 a.m. for a report that someone had been shot. McKee was pronounced dead at 4:41 a.m., police said.