Mt. Rainier Man Charged in Slaying, Fire

A Mount Rainier man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 33-year-old man whose body was found in his apartment after a fire, Prince George's County police said yesterday.

Police said they arrested Michael Thomas, 28, of the 2900 block of Allison Street, Thursday in the death of Arturo Cordero, of the 4600 block of 29th Street in Mount Rainier. Firefighters found Cordero's body in his bedroom with his hands tied about 8:30 p.m. Sunday after a fire consumed his apartment.

Lt. Andy Ellis, a police spokesman, said Thomas robbed Cordero and killed him before setting the fire. Ellis said that investigators are trying to determine the cause of death and that Cordero had not been shot.

Officer Accused of Wounding Girlfriend

A Prince George's County police officer was charged with first-degree assault yesterday after he shot and wounded his girlfriend during a domestic dispute, police said.

Police said David M. Gray, a five-year member of the force assigned to the Palmer Park district, was off duty about 9:30 a.m. when he began arguing with his 32-year-old girlfriend at his home in the 1700 block of Pine Cone Court in Mitchellville. The officer fired a single shot from his service weapon, a 9mm Beretta semiautomatic pistol, striking the woman in the hand and leg, police said.

The woman, whose name was not released, was listed in fair condition at a hospital that police declined to identify. Lt. Andy Ellis, a police spokesman, said the shooting was under investigation.

Hyattsville Man Held in Fatal Gunfight

A Hyattsville man has been charged with shooting to death a 23-year-old man Wednesday on the grounds of a middle school, Prince George's County police said yesterday.

Eddy Trujillo, 18, of the 5200 block of 57th Avenue, was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jesus Hernandez Ulloa, of the 5200 block of Kenilworth Avenue in Hyattsville, police said.

Police said Trujillo got into a gunfight about 9 p.m. Wednesday with Ulloa and two other men outside William Wirt Middle School in the 6200 block of Tuckerman Avenue in Riverdale Heights.

Investigators said they did not know what led to the exchange of gunfire.

The two other men--a 19-year-old from Landover and a 28-year-old from Colmar Manor--were hit by gunfire but did not suffer life-threatening wounds, police said. Trujillo was charged with attempted murder and first-degree assault for those shootings, according to court records. He was being held without bond in the Prince George's County jail.


Cafeteria Manager Accused of Theft

An assistant cafeteria manager at Hylton High School in Woodbridge was charged with five counts of embezzling public funds after she stole more than $16,000 in student lunch money, police and school officials said yesterday.

Meredith Claire Caporaletti, 43, of Woodbridge, was arrested after Prince William County school officials noticed that some daily deposits were not made this month at a bank, authorities said.

School food services officials said Caporaletti had been in charge of taking cash and checks for deposit and is accused of pocketing the money.

Caporaletti, who has worked in the Prince William school system since 1984, was placed on administrative leave last week and was released from custody on $10,000 bond. If convicted, Caporaletti could face two to 10 years in prison for each embezzling charge. She is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 15.

Arrest Made in Fairfax Bank Robbery

A 33-year-old man was arrested shortly after the robbery of a Fairfax County bank Friday when a K-9 dog team tracked him down to a shed behind a home, police said.

Vincent W. Wilson, of no fixed address, was charged in the robbery of the First Virginia Bank branch in the 7700 block of Telegraph Road in the Kingstowne area, police said.

A man entered the bank about 12:30 p.m., brandished a handgun at two tellers and demanded money, police said. Police said the man took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled.


Manslaughter Verdict in Shooting

Twelve District jurors concluded yesterday that London Marquis Ford bore a measure of responsibility for the death of Helen Foster-El in an East Capitol Dwellings shootout, but they rejected a second-degree murder charge in favor of the lesser crime of manslaughter.

Prosecutors said Ford took part in a June 21 shootout in the 100 block of 56th Place SE. Foster-El, 55, was caught in the cross-fire and died with a bullet in her back. Ford was supporting a friend, Jimmy Shelton, in a dispute about money. Shelton pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against Ford.

D.C. Superior Court jurors convicted Ford, 19, of assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter while armed and two gun charges. He is to be sentenced March 10. Two co-defendants--Derrick Jackson and Kent Chambers--are awaiting trial.