Union Station Evacuated

Authorities evacuated Union Station last night for more than a half-hour after an Amtrak police dog detected a suspicious package in the mall area of the station.

An Amtrak canine and later a U.S. Capitol Police dog both detected a suspicious substance, which prompted officials to clear the station about 7:45 p.m., said Vernae Graham, an Amtrak spokeswoman. Officials removed the package and X-rayed it, later deeming it harmless. Train service was not affected.

More Radar Cameras Being Installed

D.C. police soon will begin operating photo-radar cameras in the 1000 and 2000 blocks of Alabama Avenue in Southeast Washington, officials announced yesterday.

The devices, which are attached to unmarked police cars, capture speeders on camera. Police then issue citations to the vehicles' owners. In the past three years, police have issued more than 1 million photo radar tickets.

The city has 74 zones where officers operate the photo-radar devices. The department also has installed a stationary radar camera in the 600 block of Florida Avenue NW. The zones where police operate the cameras are noted on the police department's Web site at

SE Man Dies of Shooting Wounds

An 18-year-old man was found fatally shot early yesterday in Northeast Washington, police said.

James Hudson of the 700 block of Adrian Street SE was found in the 5600 block of Eads Street NE about 2:20 a.m., police said. He was rushed to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he died. Anyone with information is urged to call police at 202-727-9099.


Convictions in Double Murder Upheld

Maryland's highest court yesterday upheld the convictions of a husband and wife who murdered and dismembered a tourist couple they met in Ocean City over Memorial Day weekend in 2002.

In two opinions, the Court of Appeals preserved Benjamin Sifrit's convictions for second-degree murder and other crimes and Erika Sifrit's first-degree murder and theft convictions.

In separate trials last year, the Sifrits were found guilty of luring Martha Crutchley and Joshua Ford, both of Fairfax City, to their condominium and shooting them in a bathroom. They then dismembered the bodies and dumped them in a trash bin.

A Montgomery County jury found Benjamin Sifrit guilty of second-degree murder in Crutchley's death but acquitted him in Ford's killing. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison in July 2003.

Erika Sifrit was convicted in Frederick County last year of first-degree murder in Ford's death and second-degree murder for helping kill Crutchley. She was sentenced to life plus 20 years.

Officer Fired At After Pulling Over Driver

A Prince George's County police officer was shot at -- but not struck -- Thursday evening moments after he pulled over a car that had several teenagers hanging off the hood, police said yesterday.

Police said the officer, whose name was not released, stopped the green Buick Century in the 200 block of West Mill Avenue in Seat Pleasant about 8 p.m. after seeing the youths on the hood. They said that the youths ran away when they saw the officer and that the driver fled as the officer approached.

The officer caught up to the driver and the pair struggled. A gun fell out of the youth's pants, police said, and he picked it up and fired one shot at the officer.

The officer fired back, but it was unknown yesterday whether he hit the youth, who fled into nearby woods.

Police asked that anyone with information about the case call the department's Crime Solvers unit at 800-673-2777.


Teen Pleads Guilty in Fatal Crash

The teenage driver in the March 27 crash that killed two Stone Bridge High School students pleaded guilty Friday to two charges of involuntary manslaughter as well as reckless driving. The teenager, who was 15 at the time of the accident, had been charged as a juvenile in the deaths of Nicholas J. Pendola, 16, and Anthony Cibelli-Mason, 17, both of Ashburn. Pendola and Cibelli-Mason were in the open bed of a pickup truck when it ran into a ditch off a closed road in the Broadlands community.

Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman and the youth's family members worked together to craft a sentence, which among other conditions will require his monthly attendance at driver's license ceremonies. "It is our goal that he'll be able to reach his peers and their parents with a strong message in the hopes that that we might prevent this type of tragedy from happening to another family," Plowman said.

Baby Found Dead; Mother, Man Charged

A 6-month-old baby was found dead in a bathtub at a house in Prince William County yesterday, and the child's mother and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with felony murder and child abuse, county police said.

Police said they went to the house on Prince William Circle in Dumfries about 12:30 p.m. in response to a report about an unconscious person and found the child, who apparently had drowned.

Police said it appeared that the child had been left unattended after being placed in the tub.

Police said that Alison Nicole Spivey, 25, and Stephen Randall Wendell, 34, were being held without bond last night.

U-Va. Marching Band Primed for Debut

The University of Virginia's new marching band is rehearsing for its debut next month.

Director Bill Pease said that the band has practiced only for a week but that members are working well together. The band debuts Sept. 11 at Scott Stadium, for the North Carolina football game.

The audience will see a change this season: The band will do an 11-minute pregame show and a halftime show.

The band got its start when philanthropists Hunter and Carl W. Smith gave the university $1.5 million to create the group. It replaces the Pep Band, which fell into the school's bad graces with a controversial halftime show at the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl.

"If Major League Baseball awards this team to Virginia against all logic, I think there's going to be considerable anger in the District of Columbia . . . and there's no telling what could happen."

-- D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), on the competition

between the District and Virginia to be the new home

of the Montreal Expos. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Clarence Williams, Del Quentin Wilber, Martin Weil, Jamie Stockwell and Lila Arzua and the Associated Press.