Insanity Ruling A Southeast Washington man was deemed not guilty by reason of insanity yesterday in the February 2003 killing of his 96-year-old grandmother.
A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered that Jeffrey Daniels, 48, remain held at St. Elizabeths Hospital until doctors determine that he is no longer mentally ill or a danger to himself or others.
Daniels was charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in the slaying of his grandmother, Alease Daniels. Prosecutors said that the shooting followed a disagreement in the home they shared in the 2300 block of Irving Street SE and that Daniels also shot and wounded his brother, then 51.
Judge Robert I. Richter accepted the insanity plea and scheduled a follow-up hearing for Sept. 9. Prosecutors said Daniels was examined by a psychiatrist and a psychologist, who determined that he was severely mentally ill at the time of the shootings.
Guilty Plea A Vienna man pleaded guilty Thursday to running an unlicensed money-service business that sent millions of dollars to Syria and other countries.
Louay Habbal, 45, acknowledged that his business, Mena Exchange, received more than $6 million between December 2003 and this March to transfer overseas. Habbal, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Syria, was originally charged with sending $23 million abroad, but the indictment was amended to the lower figure.
Habbal's arrest occurred as part of a crackdown on unlicensed money-transmitters that began after the USA Patriot Act took effect, requiring such businesses to register with the Treasury Department and get state licenses.
Habbal's attorney, Thomas Abbenante, said Habbal had registered with the Treasury Department but did not think he needed to get a state license. "Some of the money went to Syria, but it was all legitimate money," Abbenante said.
There was no allegation of terrorism financing. But authorities are concerned that underground money-transfer businesses represent a vulnerability.
"Any criminal or terrorist can come to these underground businesses and have their millions wired anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds with no questions asked," said Allan Doody, who heads the Washington district office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Sentencing is scheduled for October.
Fatal Shooting A Frederick County man was found fatally shot yesterday in the Bartonsville area of the county.
The man was identified as David Wayne Lee, 20, the county sheriff's department said. They said that he was found just after midnight in the 9000 block of Reichs Ford Road and that he had been shot in the head.