MARYLAND

Officer cleared in shooting: A Montgomery County grand jury has cleared a police officer of criminal wrongdoing in the shooting death of a 25-year-old Adelphi man in July, authorities said yesterday.

Candice Marchone, a member of the Montgomery police force for seven years, shot and killed Peter A. Njang outside an apartment complex in White Oak on Aug. 12. A grand jury on Thursday determined that the shooting was justified, ending potential criminal prosecution of Marchone, said Montgomery State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler.

HOMICIDES

* A 30-year-old man was found fatally shot in the stairwell of a Forestville apartment building last night, police said. Neighbors heard a gunshot and called police to the 1900 block of Brooks Drive about 7 p.m. Officers found the man dead, with at least one gunshot wound to the upper body, police said. Investigators think the man lived in the building but did not identify him last night.

THE DISTRICT

Teen sentenced in death: A Southeast youth was sentenced yesterday to five years on charges that he struck and killed a man while driving a stolen minivan.

Andrew Lofty, 16, of the 400 block of Burbank Street SE was charged as an adult in the death of Terry A. Weaver on July 2.

Weaver, 21, of Southeast Washington, was killed as he rode a moped in the 4400 block of G Street SE. Prosecutors said the accident took place after Lofty sped up because he saw a police car.

Lofty pleaded guilty in August in D.C. Superior Court to involuntary manslaughter and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He was sentenced by Judge Robert I. Richter.

Sentence in killing: A Northeast Washington man who killed a man in a dispute over $10 was sentenced yesterday to a 10-year prison term, prosecutors said.

Frederick Blunt, 24, was convicted by a D.C. Superior Court jury of manslaughter in the August 2001 slaying of Robert Ford, 35. Prosecutors said that Blunt hit Ford in the head with a cinder block after a dispute took place while they were gambling with a third man in the 700 block of 18th Street NE. Blunt was sentenced by Judge Ann O'Regan Keary.

VIRGINIA

Gang member sentenced: A member of a Latino street gang who participated in a fight that degenerated into a fatal shooting in April was sentenced yesterday in Fairfax County Circuit Court to a year in jail for participating in a street gang.

Prosecutors said Wilfredo A. Guzman, 22, a member of the La Primera gang, was holding people back as a fistfight erupted in a hotel parking lot in the Alexandria area between fellow gang member Donnie A. Barnes, 19, and Christian J. Aranzana-Vasquez, 19, of the rival gang South Side Locos. Investigators said Barnes asked a third member of La Primera, Cory A. Wilkins, 22, to help him, and that Wilkins then shot Aranzana-Vasquez dead.

Guzman and Barnes were both found guilty in August of gang participation. Wilkins has not been located. Guzman's attorney, David M. Hall, said yesterday that he understood that Wilkins had committed suicide in North Carolina. "I'm terribly sorry for what Cory did that night," Guzman said. "I never knew he intended to do something like that."

Compiled from reports by staff writers.