District voters head to the polls Tuesday for a special election to fill a D.C. Council seat and vote on a referendum on granting city leaders more control over the District budget.
The citywide council election is being held to fill out the term of Phil Mendelson (D), who held the at-large seat before becoming chairman last year. In December, the D.C. Democratic State Committee selected party chairwoman Anita Bonds (D) to serve as an interim council member pending Tuesday’s outcome. Bonds, 67, is being challenged by Republican Patrick Mara, 38; Statehood Green Party candidate Perry Redd, 48; and Democrats Matthew Frumin, 53, Elissa Silverman, 40, and Paul Zukerberg, 55.
The winner will sit on the 13-member council for about 18 months and will be up for reelection next year when the term for Mendelson’s old seat expires. Voters also are being asked to consider Referendum 8, which would give the city government authority to spend locally raised funds without congressional action. But it remains unclear whether the referendum, backed by D.C. Vote and numerous city leaders, will pass congressional review and possible legal challenges.
All 143 polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters are asked to cast ballots at their designated precinct.
— Tim Craig
Prince George’s County police have arrested two men in the gang-related killing of a 23-year-old Capitol Heights man last month, authorities said Monday.
Juan Alberto Ortiz-Orellana, 24, and Jorge Enrique Moreno-Aguilar, 19, both of District Heights were charged with first-degree murder and related counts in the March 12 shooting of Erick Amilicar Mendez-Orellana, who was shot as he walked to his home in the 4900 block of Marlboro Pike. Police said Mendez-Orellana, who is not related to Ortiz-Orellana, had ties to the 18th Street gang, and that is thought to have played a role in his killing. They declined to say what, if any, gangs the suspects were affiliated with.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators first took Ortiz-Orellana into custody Thursday on unrelated charges, and he “admitted his involvement” in the slaying, authorities said. He also gave detectives information that led them to Moreno-Aguilar, who was arrested Friday, authorities said.
— Matt Zapotosky
An intruder sexually assaulted and robbed a 27-year-old woman inside her Centreville home Sunday, Fairfax County police said.
The woman awoke as the attack was in progress, at about 3 a.m. in the 13000 block of Winding Oak Circle, police said.
The woman challenged the man and he fled on foot, police said. An investigation also determined that electronic equipment had been stolen from the residence.
The suspect apparently gained entry through an unlocked door. He was described as possibly Hispanic, 25 to 35 years old and 5-foot-7. He was of medium build and was wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers at 866-411-8477.
— Justin Jouvenal
The legal odyssey of an immigrant who was found guilty of robbery in Fairfax County, had the conviction overturned and then faced a second trial on the same charge that ended in a deadlocked jury, reached a conclusion Monday.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy L. Bellows dismissed the case after prosecutors said they would not pursue yet another trial against Maligie Conteh.
A mistrial was declared in Conteh’s second trial last week, after the jury could not reach a verdict. A poll of jurors showed they were leaning 11 to 1 against convicting the Alexandria man, who is from Sierra Leone.
Conteh was originally found guilty of stealing $150 from a man at the Plaza at Landmark Shopping Center in 2010. The victim and sole witness identified Conteh as the perpetrator.
But a judge overturned the conviction in September, saying Fairfax County prosecutors had unintentionally failed to turn over evidence that would have cast doubt on the victim’s credibility.
Conteh served more than a year in jail and was facing deportation before the conviction was overturned.
— Justin Jouvenal