the district

Thanksgiving Death D.C. police said yesterday that a woman found dead in a burning apartment on Thanksgiving night had been the victim of foul play.

Firefighters were called to the apartment in the 1200 block of Valley Avenue SE just before 9 p.m. to extinguish a fire. Once they put it out, they found the body of Makia Mosby, 23, who had been shot in the head. She was pronounced dead after being taken to the D.C. medical examiner's office.

Police found a crib in the apartment but later found Mosby's 1-year-old son at the home of a relative.

The case is considered a homicide, and the city is offering up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest. The cause of the fire has not been determined.


Rape Sentencing A 19-year-old Fort Washington man has been sentenced to life in prison in the Sept. 6, 2004, rape of a Potomac woman whose house he also burglarized. Gujuan A. Lee pleaded guilty Sept. 23 to first-degree rape and first-degree sexual offense, among other charges.

Montgomery County prosecutors said Lee raped the 19-year-old woman at gunpoint. Two other men charged in the crime will be sentenced in coming weeks, prosecutors said.

"A wonderful young girl was awakened in the middle of the night in the sanctity of her own bedroom by armed masked strangers. She then was gang raped. The leader of the assault will now appropriately spend the rest of his life in a jail cell," Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler said in a statement.

Metal Thefts Some Baltimore streets are getting darker at night -- and not just because the sun is going down earlier. Authorities said thieves are stealing 30-foot light poles, presumably to sell as scrap metal.

About 130 aluminum light poles have disappeared in the past several weeks, puzzling authorities and prompting residents to wonder how the 250-pound poles are being stolen.

The culprits appear to have dressed as utility crews and have placed orange traffic cones around the poles to avoid arousing suspicion from motorists, police said.

For at least a decade in Baltimore, drug addicts who cash in scrap metal to pay for drugs have been ripping metal pipes, radiators and wires out of vacant houses and prying cast-iron security grates and downspouts from buildings. But the boldness of the latest thefts startled even law enforcement officials.

"It definitely is brazen," said Officer Nicole Monroe, a city police spokeswoman. "It surprises me that people would be so brazen as to do something like this."

She said police have no suspects. On Nov. 9, a man was arrested and charged with theft after he was spotted in East Baltimore with a light pole sticking out of the window of a station wagon. That pole had been knocked down by a vehicle, however, and the man has not been linked to any pole thefts.


Fatal Shooting A 21-year-old Woodbridge man was charged with murder and aggravated malicious wounding yesterday in the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man and the wounding of a woman, police said. The victims were housemates, authorities said.

Osmin A. Lopes, of the 14700 block of Hackwood Street, was arrested after police received a call at 12:19 a.m. and arrived to find Jose C. Vargas and the woman shot, said police spokesman John Bogert.

Lopes was being held without bond on charges of murder, aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is scheduled to appear Jan. 17 in Prince William Circuit Court.

Bogert said he did not know the relationship between Lopes and the victims. He said the woman's injuries were not life threatening.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.