VIRGINIA

Man Convicted in Fatal Fairfax Beating

After Justin Rhatigan was beaten to death in the basement of a Kingstowne town house last July, 20-year-old Tim Jerman maintained that he had been upstairs and had not participated.

But a young woman who also was in the house testified in court that Jerman was one of three men who chased Rhatigan into the basement. Although the woman didn't witness the beating, a Fairfax County jury convicted Jerman yesterday of second-degree murder.

Jerman, of the 11200 block of Brock Road in Spotsylvania County, became the third person convicted in connection with Rhatigan's death. Rhatigan, 21, was found with severe head and upper-body injuries behind the house in the 7300 block of Springleigh Way; he apparently had been tossed over a fence by his assailants. He died two days later.

Shortly after Rhatigan was discovered, police arrested Micah O. Bohn, 19, and Joseph Kern, 23, also of the Brock Road address. Several days later, police arrested Lisa A. Panko, 18, who testified this week that she lured Rhatigan to the Kingstowne town house so that the young men could confront him about an alleged drug rip-off. Panko pleaded guilty to abduction, and Kern pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder. Bohn's trial is scheduled for next month.

THE DISTRICT

Two Men Killed in Separate Shootings

Two men were shot and killed last night in separate incidents, D.C. police said.

At 6:25 p.m., a man in his mid-twenties was shot in the back in the 1300 block of Shepherd Street NW, police said. He was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center.

About 90 minutes later, a 19-year-old man was shot in the 2400 block of Elvans Road SE, police said. He was taken to D.C. General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 9 p.m.

Police said early today that they were uncertain about the motive in both shootings.

Apparent Shooting Death Investigated

District police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found by city workers on a grassy patch of land in Southeast Washington yesterday.

The unidentified man was found by Department of Public Works employees picking up garbage about 7:50 a.m. in the 400 block of 40th Place SE, police said. The man apparently died of gunshot wounds, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call D.C. Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777.

Officer Convicted of Stealing Perfume

A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday convicted a D.C. police sergeant of stealing $1,600 worth of perfume while investigating a crime at a car repair lot and then selling the perfume, the U.S. attorney's office said.

David M. Goodridge, 48, grabbed three cartons of perfume that had been shipped from a New York company to the wife of a car lot employee. The perfume was not evidence in the crime Goodridge was investigating, and when he returned to 4th District headquarters, he began selling it to other officers for $1 a bottle.

Within an hour, all the perfume was sold, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Rowan. Confronted later, Goodridge defended himself by saying the perfume was perishable and subject to immediate auction.

The sergeant could be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail for misdemeanor theft when sentenced Nov. 23.

Chief Decries Unlocked Station Door

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday that he was disturbed to learn that the back door of the 4th District police station has been left unlocked during renovations.

A reporter for WTOP radio discovered the door was open and strolled in. It wasn't until she struck up a conversation in the property room--where a bucket of guns sat--that anyone questioned why she was there.

Ramsey told WTOP yesterday that he wasn't aware of the situation but that while renovations continue at the 4th District station, at 6001 Georgia Ave. NW, a guard should be posted at the door. Cmdr. Melvin Scott, of the 4th District, said the door's lock did not work but that it would be fixed.