MARYLAND

Killer Sentenced A man who was convicted of murdering a Temple Hills man after witnesses testified that the defendant had brandished an obituary of the victim and bragged about what he had done was sentenced yesterday to 50 years in prison.

Lorence F. Smith, 26, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Sean D. Wallace to 30 years in prison for second-degree murder and 20 years for using a handgun in the commission of a felony for the June 13, 2002, shooting death of Don J. Beach Jr., 21. Beach was shot in the parking lot of an Oxon Hill housing complex.

Wallace ordered that the sentences be served consecutively. The judge also ordered that the 50 years be served consecutively to a 40-year sentence Smith is serving in the District for an unrelated slaying he committed in Northeast Washington about three weeks after Beach was killed.

In the Beach case, witnesses testified that Smith showed them a copy of an obituary that appeared in The Washington Post and bragged, "Look what I did."

Shooting Justified A Frederick County grand jury found yesterday that a sheriff's deputy who fatally shot a shotgun-wielding man in front of his mother June 22 acted in justifiable self-defense, State's Attorney Scott L. Rolle said.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office said Charles Sines, 68, of Frederick was brandishing a shotgun and threatening his mother when Deputy 1st Class Charles Zang was called to Sines's home in the 4300 block of Araby Church Road. Zang ordered Sines to put down the weapon several times, but Sines refused.

Then Zang, 37, fired one shot from his 9mm pistol into Sines's chest. Deputies said Zang administered first aid and called for help. Sines was pronounced dead at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

Zang, who has been with the sheriff's office for seven years, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

He has returned to active duty, said Lt. Troy Barrick, a spokesman for the office.

Takoma Park Robbery Two youths, one with a handgun, robbed a man last month in a parking lot in the Takoma Park area of Montgomery County, police said.

Police said the victim was in a parking lot in the 9200 block of Piney Branch Road about 8:50 p.m. when one of the robbers came out of some woods. He confronted the 18-year-old victim, showed the gun and demanded the victim's wallet. Meanwhile, another man emerged from the woods and acted as a lookout.

The victim turned over his wallet, and the robbers fled.

Both youths were described as black males, about 15 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and between 140 and 150 pounds. One wore a black T-shirt and black pants; the other wore a white T-shirt, black shorts and white shoes.

THE DISTRICT

Commander Demoted D.C. police demoted and transferred the commander of the department's major narcotics branch yesterday after Internal Affairs detectives uncovered administrative irregularities within the unit, police officials said.

Mark Beach was demoted from commander to captain, and he was reassigned to the department's 2nd District. A captain and three lieutenants from Beach's branch were also reassigned. Beach could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Internal Affairs detectives are focusing on problems with how the unit's members logged and tracked property, police said.

Police officials described the internal investigation as administrative. The move forced a reshuffling among others in the command ranks.

Cmdr. Thomas McGuire of the 1st District will take over for Beach. Inspector Diane Groomes of the 3rd District was promoted to commander and will take over the 1st District. Capt. Patrick Burke was promoted to inspector and assigned to work in the 3rd District.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.