MARYLAND

Murder charge: A 23-year-old man was charged Wednesday night with first-degree murder in the Jan. 15 shooting of a man in a Silver Spring parking lot, Montgomery County police said.

Antoine D. Miller, of no fixed address, was being held in the Montgomery County jail without bond. Witnesses told police that Miller argued with Efil M. Jackson in the 8700 block of Bradford Road and that Miller fired several shots.

One of the witnesses drove Jackson, also of no fixed address, to Washington Adventist Hospital, where he died, police said.

Criminal case closed: The criminal case into the shooting death of an armed man last month by a Prince George's County police officer was closed this week when a grand jury chose not to indict Sgt. Russell Watson, prosecutors said.

However, an internal investigation into the Dec. 10 shooting remains open, and Watson, a 28-year veteran assigned to the department's SWAT team, remains on paid administrative leave. Watson shot and killed Eric Stewart, 31, after a standoff inside the Landover Hills apartment Stewart shared with his mother. Stewart had held a knife to his mother's throat and repeatedly threatened to kill her, police said.

According to a statement released by State's Attorney Glenn Ivey's office, a toxicology report conducted on Stewart after his death showed that he had PCP in his system. Ivey said that "Watson's actions were not only justified but necessary to save the life of . . . the suspect's mother."

Woman sentenced: A Suitland woman pleaded guilty to neglect of vulnerable adults and was sentenced to two years' probation for leaving five severely retarded adults in a van in a Silver Spring mall's parking garage while she went shopping, Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said yesterday.

Shandell N. Matthews, 31, was working as a residential counselor for a Silver Spring group home run by the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, a Washington-based organization that provides care to retarded adults, when the incident occurred in July 2001, Curran said.

A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ordered that Matthews be banned from providing direct care to vulnerable adults during her probation. Curran's office said that Matthews left the adults in the van at City Place Mall for at least 50 minutes.

THE DISTRICT

Ex-police recruit sentenced: A federal judge this week sentenced a former police recruit to 22 months in prison for his role in a ring that funneled handguns into the District.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina sentenced Justin C. Johnson, 22, Tuesday after his conviction on two charges of illegally transporting firearms into the District. Johnson's father is a D.C. police sergeant.

In May 1999, Johnson bought 15 guns in Atlanta and brought them back to the District, evidence at the September trial showed. Police said that at least two guns were later found to have been used in violent crimes. Johnson was halfway through his training program at the police academy when he was arrested in November 2001.

Tax fraud scheme: A federal judge in Washington yesterday sentenced a District man to more than two years in prison for running a tax fraud scheme that obtained $22,000 in false refunds.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Mark T. Purvis, 38, to 32 months in prison and ordered him to pay full restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

An IRS investigation revealed that Purvis filed 26 false federal income tax returns between 1992 and 1997 in his name or for other people whose Social Security numbers he had stolen. He had attempted to get at least $92,0000 through the scheme and had netted $22,000 at his arrest.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.