Daughter, 20, Gets 48 Years in Slaying

Clara Schwartz Had Friend Kill Her Father in Leesburg

Clara Jane Schwartz, the former James Madison University student who enlisted a friend to kill her scientist father, was sentenced Monday to 48 years in prison.

Schwartz, 20, was at school Dec. 8, 2001, when Robert M. Schwartz was stabbed with a 27-inch sword as he sat down to dinner in his remote Leesburg farmhouse. Kyle Hulbert, 19, is awaiting trial on murder charges in the killing. Authorities said Clara Schwartz and Hulbert were drawn together by a shared fascination with witchcraft and the occult.

Schwartz was convicted in October of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit murder. Friend Michael Pfohl, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is scheduled to be sentenced in April. Katherine Inglis, 20, a friend of Clara Schwartz's from high school, faces a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

Hassell Is First Black Chief Justice

Norfolk Native, Elected by Colleagues, Sworn In Tuesday

Leroy R. Hassell was sworn in Tuesday as the first black chief justice in the Virginia Supreme Court's 224-year history. Hassell, 47, a 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School, is the state's 24th chief justice.

Hassell, a Norfolk native, is the first chief justice to be elected by his colleagues. Before the General Assembly changed the process last year, the position automatically went to the most senior justice.

Delegates Back Seat Belt Crackdown

Opponents Hope to Return Bill to House for New Vote

Virginia's House of Delegates, by one vote, approved a tougher seat belt law Thursday. But opponents of the measure who call it an unnecessary government intrusion on people's private decisions said they may try one last parliamentary maneuver to bring the bill back to the House floor and defeat it.

The bill has passed both chambers of the General Assembly. If it survives the challenge in the House and becomes law, police officers will be allowed to stop cars and issue $25 tickets to unbuckled drivers and passengers without first noticing another traffic offense.

Falls Church Explores School Funding

City May Have Developers Do Construction, for a Price

The City of Falls Church is pioneering a faster way to build schools for its students: Let developers do it.

The Falls Church School Board is negotiating with Public Private Alliances, an affiliate of Bethesda-based Clark Construction Group, to build a middle school for the city. Instead of soliciting bids for design and construction, the city would agree to work with Public Private from beginning to end and could compensate the company in any number of ways, including land swaps, bond issues or allowing the developer to own the building while the city pays a long-term lease.

Across the Region

United Way Withdraws; Wilson Bridge Bid Celebrated

* The Washington area United Way announced that it will step aside from this fall's Combined Federal Campaign, allowing some other organization to take over the annual charitable fundraising drive among 180,000 federal employees.

* Maryland highway officials were relieved Thursday when the lowest bid to build one of the costliest parts of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge came in $45 million under estimates, a sign that the massive project has not soared over budget.

* Prince George's County schools chief Iris T. Metts, who has had a tumultuous tenure, announced that she has accepted a job with a national education company. Metts will leave her Prince George's job at the end of the school year.

Lincoln celebration: The National Park Service holds an Abraham Lincoln birthday observance with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial.