Theft sentence: A former employee of the U.S. Mint was sentenced yesterday to a year of home detention for stealing more than $150,000 from the agency, prosecutors said.
Shani E. Black, 29, of Landover also was ordered to pay more than $150,000 in restitution. Black, a former accountant technician, stole the money by submitting phony vouchers for payment between 1999 and 2002, prosecutors said. She pleaded guilty in June to one count of making false claims and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
Murder conviction: A Loudoun County Circuit Court jury found a Herndon man guilty of first-degree murder and robbery yesterday in the Dec. 25 killing of Margarita Gonzalez, 42. The jury recommended that Mauricio Cerritos spend 50 years in prison.
Cerritos, 23, was arrested in January and charged in the killing of Gonzalez, a jewelry saleswoman. Her body was found in a Sterling parking lot the day after Christmas.
Gonzalez was abducted from her Herndon apartment as part of a robbery scheme, prosecutors said during the four-day trial. The defense argued that two members of the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, forced Cerritos to participate in the crimes.
A criminal investigation continues because law enforcement officials believe that the crime was gang-related and that Cerritos did not act alone.
Compiled from reports by staff writers.