MARYLAND

Brothers Indicted in Slayings

Two white Kent County brothers have been indicted on charges of murder, assault and commission of a hate crime in last month's death of a black woman from the Eastern Shore who was shot as she was riding home from a Christmas shopping trip.

David Wayne Starkey, 24, and Daniel Robert Starkey, 20, both of Millington, were indicted last week on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree assault in the death of Germaine P. Clarkston, 73. Authorities said the Starkeys stalked Clarkston and two relatives for more than 20 miles Dec. 4 as the women drove home to western Kent County before opening fire.

Although officials have not disclosed a motive for the shooting, the Starkeys also were indicted on a charge of committing a hate crime, said Robert H. Strong Jr., the Kent County state's attorney. Strong said in a statement that he will not seek the death penalty because no "aggravating circumstances" were involved.

VIRGINIA

Warning on Counterfeit Checks

Fairfax County police said yesterday that much more sophisticated counterfeiting techniques are being used to create phony cashier's checks, payroll checks and money orders.

On a table in front of him, Lt. Randy Joyce, of the Fairfax financial crimes section, laid out four checks--ostensibly from the Treasury Department Credit Union--totaling more than $60,000. All were passed within a month last year, Joyce said.

An Arlington man sold his Land Rover last year to another man for $39,500 and was paid with a fake cashier's check. Maryland police later found the Land Rover, and Fairfax police used items in the vehicle to track down a suspect. Douglas C. Miles, 29, of Greenbelt, was charged last week with forgery, uttering and false pretense.

Joyce urged anyone accepting a cashier's check to call the issuing bank and verify its value.

THE DISTRICT

Car Chase Ends in Slaying

A vehicular cat-and-mouse game ended in Northwest Washington early yesterday with one man shot dead, police said.

DiAngelo Wood, 19, was found slumped in the driver's seat of a borrowed Nissan when police responded to a report of gunshots at Fifth and Oglethorpe streets NW about 12:30 a.m., said Sgt. Jose Bimbo, a 4th District investigator.

Wood was pronounced dead soon after arrival at Washington Hospital Center.

Wood, who lived nearby in the 6000 block of Seventh Street NW, was driving a friend's car when someone began to chase him through the streets, Bimbo said. After Wood was shot, the car drifted to a halt. Police had made no arrests in the case yesterday.

Court Defaults on Lawyers' Suit

A federal court clerk declared D.C. Superior Court officials in default this week for failing to respond to a lawsuit filed in December by court-appointed defense lawyers who contend that they are not being paid on time.

The lawyers filed suit Dec. 16. Federal rules require the defendant in a lawsuit to file an answer or seek more time within 20 days. But Jan. 5 came and went with nothing from Superior Court, said lawyers Gary M. Sidell and Steven G. Polin.

Court Executive Ulysses B. Hammond declined to answer questions about the suit, which he said will be handled on the court's behalf by the D.C. corporation counsel's office. He also declined to discuss a report that he had refused to accept service of the lawsuit.

D.C. Corporation Counsel Robert R. Rigsby said the city filed a motion yesterday asking that the default be overturned. He pledged an inquiry to determine when his office learned of the lawsuit and what happened next.