Rejection of Abortion Law Is Upheld

A federal appeals court yesterday upheld its decision that struck down Virginia's law barring a late-term abortion procedure.

A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in June threw out the law, which made it a crime for doctors to perform the procedure opponents call partial-birth infanticide. The judges ruled the law lacks an exception to safeguard a woman's health.

Virginia Attorney General Judith Williams Jadgmann urged the full 4th Circuit to reverse the decision. By a 9 to 3 vote, the court decided yesterday not to rehear the case.

State Schools Superintendent Steps Down

The first woman to serve as superintendent for public instruction in Virginia announced yesterday that she is retiring from her position after five years on the job.

Jo Lynne DeMary, 59, was appointed the state's top educator by Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) in 2000 and reappointed by Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) in 2002. DeMary oversaw implementation of the state's Standards of Learning testing regimen and, over the past year, became a leading national critic of the implementation of the No Child Left Behind law. She said, however, that with Warner about to leave office, she had reached a natural point in her career to step down and take a job that might be less time-consuming.

DeMary has worked in education in Virginia for 35 years, starting as a teacher in Richmond, Fairfax County and Henrico County, then becoming a principal and administrator. She went to work for the state Department of Education in 1994.

Woodbridge Teenager Dies After Crash

A 15-year-old Prince William boy was killed Thursday in a traffic accident on the Prince William Parkway, police said. Jauay F. Mosley of Woodbridge, a student at Potomac Senior High School, was riding in a 1999 Saab with a female relative when the car crashed near the Occoquan River bridge, in the eastbound lanes of the parkway.

Rescue units were called at 10:54 a.m. The woman was flown to a hospital, and the teenager was taken to another hospital, said Prince William police spokesman John Bogert. The teenager was pronounced dead about two hours later. The woman suffered serious injuries but is expected to survive.

Bogert said an investigation is underway.


Festivities Mark Anniversary of War's End

Fireworks and speeches were part of a ceremony on the Mall last night to mark the 60th anniversary of the official end of World War II.

As many as 6,000 people, many of them World War II veterans, attended the ceremony at the National World War II Memorial. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was among the speakers at the event, which was sponsored by the Defense Department, said Army Capt. Melissa Tune, a Pentagon spokeswoman. Surrender documents ending the war in the Pacific were signed Sept. 2, 1945.

Alexandria Motorcyclist Dies in NW Crash

A 36-year-old Alexandria man who was critically injured in a motorcycle crash in Northwest Washington died yesterday morning, D.C. police said.

Matthew Truslow of the 200 block of East Nelson Street was driving a Yamaha motorcycle on Nebraska Avenue NW about 4:30 p.m. Thursday when he crashed into a Jeep Cherokee making a left turn onto Connecticut Avenue NW, police said.

Truslow was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died, police said. The driver of the Cherokee, identified as Christopher Coursen, 57, of Northwest Washington, was given a ticket for failing to yield the right of way, police said.


Bacterial Meningitis Case Suspected

A U.S. Naval Academy freshman has been hospitalized with suspected bacterial meningitis, an infection of the spinal fluid that can cause brain damage or death.

The midshipman, whose name and condition were not released for privacy reasons, was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center on Thursday after complaining of a high fever, severe headaches and nausea, academy officials said.

Bacterial meningitis is contagious and passed through such close contact as kissing or sharing a drink or eating utensils. Unlike less serious viral meningitis, it can be treated with antibiotics. The academy's medical staff provided antibiotics to those in the midshipman's company as a precautionary step, academy officials said.

There were 350 cases of bacterial meningitis in Maryland between 1995 and 2004, according to the Anne Arundel County health department. Of the 331 people who were hospitalized, 11 percent died. Of the 19 who were not hospitalized, 58 percent died. The Maryland numbers mirror national averages.

Death Sentence Justified, Lawyer Says

A lawyer for the state rejected the claim yesterday that racial bias played a role in the death sentence of Vernon Evans Jr., telling the Court of Appeals that Evans was sentenced to die because his crime "ranks up with there with the worst" in the history of Maryland.

Evans would have received a death sentence "whether he was white, black, pink or purple," Assistant Attorney General Annabelle Lisic said.

Evans's attorney, A. Stephen Hut Jr., said the sentence should be overturned because there is a history of racial bias in the use of the death penalty, as demonstrated in a study conducted for the state by Raymond Paternoster, a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Paternoster found that prosecutors are most likely to seek the death penalty for black suspects when the victims are white.

Evans was sentenced to death for the murders of Scott Piechowicz and his sister-in-law Susan Kennedy, who were gunned down in the lobby of a motel in Pikesville in 1983. While admitting that he was paid $9,000 by drug dealer Anthony Grandison, Evans argued that he was merely a middleman.

Lisic said the reason Evans was sentenced to death "is because of the nature of the crime he committed, coldbloodedly killing two innocent people."

"There's been a big foul-up. It's the same problem we've had since day one: There's been an unbelievable lack of coordination, and it's probably due to the almost nonexistent communication."

-- Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee of Louisiana, who had urgently requested help from Loudoun deputy sheriffs. They were turned back because they could not get official permission to help. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Ray Rivera, Del Quentin Wilber, Rosalind S. Helderman, Ian Shapira, Martin Weil and Jerry Markon and the Associated Press.