Murder Conviction A Largo man faces sentencing Jan. 5 after his conviction late Thursday night on charges of first-degree murder, robbery and burglary in the slaying of a Rockville exotic dancer who was his former girlfriend.

A Montgomery County jury convicted Antoine Gatewood in the death of Emily Cagal, 24, who was fatally beaten with a bookend March 2. Prosecutors described the slaying as a robbery that turned deadly.

Gatewood, 33, of Largo, could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Deputy State's Attorney John McCarthy said after the verdict.

When he took the stand Wednesday, Gatewood said he accidentally killed Cagal after she threatened him with a gun during a drunken fight that started with an argument about the future of their relationship.

McCarthy portrayed Gatewood as a cunning, unrepentant killer who sliced off the tips of Cagal's fingers to keep his DNA from being found under her nails and left messages on her voicemail after the slaying in an attempt to mislead detectives.

Arrest in Slaying A man wanted in the slaying of a woman found dead in her bathtub in Baltimore County was arrested Thursday, county police said.

Ellis Lee Hickman Jr., 33, was arrested in Pahokee, Fla., after being found in a trash bin, authorities said.

Rakiyya States was found dead in her bathtub Sept. 25 with her fingertips cut off, authorities said. A fire was set after she was slain, police said. After examining evidence, police obtained a warrant for Hickman, who they said lived on the same block as the woman.

Hickman will have an extradition hearing before facing charges in Maryland, authorities said.


Fatal Stabbing A woman who was stabbed to death in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County on Thursday night was identified yesterday as Lynda A. Meagher, 41, and a friend of hers was arrested later Thursday and charged with murder, authorities said.

Fairfax police said Meagher, who lived in the 8500 block of Richmond Highway, was killed while visiting an apartment in the 8400 block of Graves Street, just off Richmond Highway. Neighbors called police about 7:50 p.m. to report a stabbing, and officers found Meagher dead of a single stab wound to the chest.

Samuel K. Hamlett, 49, who lived in the apartment, was arrested after being questioned, police said. Hamlett was being held in the Fairfax jail last night. The killing was the 17th homicide in Fairfax this year, compared with 10 in both 2003 and 2004.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.