THE DISTRICT

Man Found Dead Wasn't Homeless

Melvin L. Wharton, the man D.C. authorities said may have been the city's first hypothermia fatality this winter, lived with his wife in an apartment two blocks from where his body was found, relatives said yesterday.

Wharton, 51, whose body was discovered Friday in freezing temperatures in the 2900 block of 11th Street NW, had been experiencing stomach pains and may have been on the way to a hospital emergency room, said a brother, John Wharton. Melvin Wharton didn't have a telephone, according to his brother.

Police said Friday that Wharton, who was wearing a hat, boots, sweat pants and coat but no shirt when he was found, was likely homeless and had no place to go.

John Wharton said his brother, known as "Thunderbird Wharton" when he played football at Cardozo High School, had worked as a building manager and had lived in the 2700 block of 11th Street NW for several years.

No Identity, Motive in NW Slaying

The body of a black male, with gunshot wounds in the head, was discovered early yesterday in the 700 block of Tuckerman Street NW, D.C. police said.

The man's body was found about 1:30 a.m., police said. They had not been able to determine his identity or a motive for the shooting.

MARYLAND

Driver Dies in Crash on I-95 Shoulder

An Alexandria man died yesterday morning when his car struck a tractor-trailer that was parked on the shoulder of Interstate 95 in Prince George's County, Maryland State Police said yesterday.

Police said Agustin Corea Ferrufino, 28, was driving south near Route 4 when he inadvertently drove onto the shoulder and struck the truck. The truck driver, who had pulled over to check the rig's tires, was not in the vehicle and was not injured, police said.

Ferrufino died from injuries at the scene, police said.

Severna Park Man, 24, Slain

Annapolis police are investigating the death of a 24-year-old Severna Park man who was shot in the head early yesterday.

The man was identified by police as Michael Dwayne Hall, of the unit block of Barrensdale Drive. Police said residents of the Madison Street neighborhood heard gunshots around 1 a.m.

Hall was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Investigators are trying to determine a motive

Medicinal Marijuana Bill to Be Introduced

A bipartisan group of legislators plans to introduce a bill in the General Assembly that would prohibit state and local law enforcement officials from prosecuting people who use marijuana if their doctors have recommended it for medical reasons.

The bill would allow doctors to recommend smoking marijuana to alleviate the symptoms or effects of specified illnesses such as glaucoma, cancer and seizures and the ill effects of AIDS.

The National Institutes of Health and an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences have concluded that the active ingredients in marijuana can ease pain and nausea, but its use remains controversial.

VIRGINIA

Identity of McLean Couple Confirmed

Fairfax County police confirmed the identity yesterday of a McLean couple found dead in their home Friday, and said there were no signs of physical trauma to either of the bodies.

Joe M. Matz, 73, and Jean M. Matz, 70, were discovered dead in a lower-level bedroom of their home in the 6900 block of Southridge Drive. Relatives had not seen the couple since Jan. 2, and police believe they had been dead for some time.

A preliminary autopsy by a Virginia medical examiner found no signs of trauma, police said. A more complete autopsy will be conducted tomorrow.

Authorities first suspected carbon monoxide poisoning but ruled that out after a dog was discovered alive and alert in the house.

Body Found in Car in Fairfax County

The body of a man was found inside a car yesterday evening in the Lorton area of Fairfax County, and two men inside the vehicle were being interviewed, a county police spokesman said.

The discovery was made about 5 p.m. in the 9400 block of Gunston Cove Road, after police received a tip, according to Officer Thomas Harrington, the spokesman. The dead man's name was not available, and Harrington said no cause of death had been determined. He said no charges had been filed.

Speeders Could Be Spotted From Above

Two state lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would allow police agencies to utilize aircraft to catch speeders.

"Everybody knows where the patrol cars are. The truckers let you know," said Del. James M. Shuler (D-Montgomery), who said he will sponsor the measure because he's fed up with speeding on Interstate 81. "With the aerial enforcement, it helps put an element of the unknown into this."

Twenty-seven states use aircraft to enforce speeding laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. If Virginia State Police were given the authority, it would likely be used only occasionally, such as on holiday weekends or other times when police plan strict enforcement, said Maj. Jerry Conner, deputy bureau director with the state police.

Father Charged After Drugs Fall From Cap

A Newport News man was jailed on drug charges after police linked him to three plastic bags of cocaine that fell from his 7-year-old son's knit cap while the boy was at school.

The bags, containing 3 grams of powdered cocaine, fell out when the boy took his hat off at Deer Park Elementary School on Jan. 12, Newport News police said.

The father, Lenworth Luke, 35, has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of cocaine. Police estimated the street value of the cocaine at $300.

The boy told police his father had put the hat on his head that morning before driving him to school, according to a search warrant. The boy also said he had seen his father with similar bags and that his father called the substance "tobacco," the warrant said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"This is a country for advancement. You kill yourself in your own country, and you can't excel."

-- Evaristo Hernandez, 27, a Salvadoran immigrant who runs a D.C. landscaping company.