MARYLAND

Witness Sought Prince George's County police are searching for a possible witness to the killing of Zheng Xianjuan, 18, who was shot Sept. 19 as she waited for her father to finish his shift at a Chinese restaurant in Chillum.

Police said a person driving a burgundy sport-utility vehicle, possibly a 1995-98 Chevy Blazer, pulled into the parking lot about the time of the killing. Detectives said they do not suspect the vehicle is involved in the shooting, but they want to speak with the occupants of the car in case they saw the killing or the teenager's assailants.

Zheng was standing outside the restaurant in the 5600 block of Sargent Road about 10:30 p.m. when two men approached and one of them shot her. Detectives do not have any suspects and are offering a reward of as much as $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.

Guilty Plea in Killing A District man who accepted a plea deal in the highly publicized beating death of a young man attacked because he offered to buy a girl a Slurpee at a Suitland 7-Eleven was sentenced by a Prince George's County judge yesterday to 15 years in prison.

Circuit Court Judge Sherrie L. Krauser sentenced James J. White, 19, in the May 30, 2004, killing of Michael A. Bassett, 18.

In August, White entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder, which means he did not admit guilt but acknowledged that the state had enough evidence to convict him. White also entered an Alford plea to one count of riot, prosecutors said.

In March, a Prince George's jury convicted Emmanuel A. "Elmo" McClain, 16, whom prosecutors identified as Bassett's primary attacker, of second-degree murder and three related charges. McClain was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

According to prosecutors, McClain confronted Bassett, whom he did not know, after Bassett offered to buy a girl a Slurpee. McClain, White and another teenager chased Bassett onto Silver Hill Road, where they beat and stomped him, leaving him fatally injured, prosecutors said. Two motorists who did not see Bassett lying in the road ran over him, according to court testimony.

The third teenager is scheduled to be tried as a juvenile.

Teacher Charged A Howard County high school teacher has been charged with possession and intent to distribute methamphetamine and ecstasy.

Timothy W. Hartlove, 35, a social studies teacher at River Hill High School in Clarksville, was arrested in Baltimore County on Wednesday night after he picked up 500 grams of methamphetamine from California, said Edward Marcinko Jr., a special agent with the Baltimore office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In a search of Hartlove's Baltimore home, authorities also discovered 30 ecstasy tablets, a quart of the depressant gamma hydroxybutyrate, an ounce of methamphetamine and more than $16,000 in cash, Marcinko said.

Marcinko said there is no evidence that Hartlove distributed drugs to students or conducted drug-related activities at school.

Hartlove, who has taught at River Hill since 2001, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, said Anna Gable, a school system spokeswoman.

Students Arrested Two teenage students at a Montgomery County middle school were arrested and charged with shooting three fellow students with a pellet gun, county police said.

In the incident, which occurred yesterday at Kingsview Middle School in the Germantown area, a 13-year-old allegedly shot a 14-year-old girl in the leg and a 13-year-old boy in the arm. The other student, who is 14, allegedly shot a 13-year-old boy in the leg.

The three victims were treated for welts by the school nurse. The two students charged with assault were released to their parents, police said.

Paternity Case A Riverdale man pleaded guilty in federal court in Greenbelt yesterday to obstructing justice in a paternity case involving his brother, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said.

Sanel Rustemovic, 29, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, who scheduled sentencing Jan. 5, Rosenstein said.

According to a statement of facts that Rustemovic admitted to as part of his plea deal, Rustemovic's brother, Amel Rustemovic, was involved in a paternity case in Berlin. The child was born in July 1998, and in August 2001, a petition was filed seeking a determination that Amel Rustemovic is the father. The petition sought support payment, authorities said.

In November, 2003, a German judge issued a request to have a blood sample taken from Amel Rustemovic, who denied paternity and declined to provide a blood sample voluntarily. A year later, a U.S. magistrate judge in Greenbelt appointed an assistant U.S. attorney as a commissioner to collect evidence and take other actions to execute the German judge's request. The commissioner issued a subpoena compelling Amel Rustemovic to appear in federal court in Greenbelt last January to provide a blood sample.

Sanel Rustemovic presented himself as his brother to an assistant U.S. attorney. He negotiated postponements and provided a blood sample May 3. A lab in Germany tested the blood and determined that the donor was not the father of the child but that the donor probably was the brother of the father.

VIRGINIA

Man's Home Searched A box of bones, a machete, sex toys and bondage materials were taken from the apartment of a 38-year-old Richmond photographer who has been questioned about the disappearance of missing college student Taylor Marie Behl, according to a police search warrant.

Also taken from Ben Fawley's apartment during the search was a cutting of a box spring bearing a reddish-brown stain, a .32-caliber cartridge, chains, a hatchet, crowbar, three cell phones, skateboards and a pair of white panties. Detectives entered Fawley's residence looking for items belonging to Behl, 17, who was two weeks into her freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University when she disappeared.

Fawley, who told police that he had a sexual relationship with Behl, was arraigned Monday on 16 counts of possession of child pornography and ordered held without bond. In an earlier search of his apartment, police took several computers and CDs. Authorities found at least 30 videos on his computers depicting children as young as 1 in sex acts. Neither Behl nor Fawley appear in the videos, police said, and Fawley has not been charged in Behl's case.

Behl, a June graduate of James Madison High School in Vienna, was last seen Sept. 5 when she left her dormitory room.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.