Tax indictment: A Laurel woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that she submitted false tax returns to obtain refunds totaling about $85,000, the U.S. attorney for Maryland announced yesterday.

Evelina C. Hodge, 41, was indicted on 15 charges, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio. The indictment alleges that Hodge filed tax returns in her name and in the names of friends and relatives.

If convicted, Hodge faces up to 73 years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.


Girl shot, wounded: A 7-year-old girl was shot in the chest and critically wounded yesterday afternoon in the 3300 block of 22nd Street SE, authorities said. The girl, who also was shot in the hand, was flown to Children's Hospital and was in surgery in critical condition. The circumstances of the shooting were unclear last night, police said.

Man sentenced for hiding felon: A federal judge yesterday sentenced a former D.C. advisory neighborhood commissioner to four years in prison for hiding a wanted felon from police.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler sentenced George T. Coumaris, of the 1400 block of S Street NW, after his conviction last fall on charges of identification fraud and shielding a fugitive from capture.

Coumaris, 53, a former Internal Revenue Service lawyer and advisory neighborhood commissioner from Ward 2B09, was accused of hiding Christopher Jenkins, a fugitive from bank robbery charges in Virginia, while the pair had a relationship, authorities said.

Coumaris helped Jenkins obtain false identity cards in the names of former friends of Coumaris's, the jury found. When the relationship ended, Coumaris called police with false reports of being robbed by Jenkins, triggering the investigation that led to his arrest, authorities said.


Death sentence upheld: The Virginia Supreme Court yesterday upheld the capital murder conviction and death sentence of a Centreville man who recruited a friend to assassinate his marijuana supplier.

Justin M. Wolfe, 21, was convicted of orchestrating the March 2001 killing of Daniel Robert Petrole Jr., who was shot nine times outside his Prince William County townhouse. The killing exposed a drug ring that sold millions of dollars worth of high-grade marijuana and ecstasy across Northern Virginia.

The court rejected claims by Wolfe's attorneys that the evidence at his January 2002 trial did not support a capital murder conviction or a death sentence. The justices also rejected arguments several errors were made during the trial, including allowing two people who had heard about the case in the media to serve on the jury.

The shooter, Owen Merton Barber IV, 22, of Chantilly pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.