Family of man slain by officer is awarded $3.7 million
A Prince George's County jury awarded $3.7 million yesterday to the family of a Howard University student fatally shot by an undercover county officer in 2000, a case that helped spark a federal probe of the county force.
The civil trial jury deliberated over two days before awarding the money to the parents and daughter of Prince Jones Jr. in a wrongful death lawsuit against the county, according to their attorney, Gregory Lattimer.
Jones, 25, was shot eight times in the back, shoulder and arm on a Fairfax County, Va., street by Cpl. Carlton Jones, who is not related to the victim, during a confrontation Sept. 1, 2000. Corporal Jones had followed Prince Jones in the mistaken belief he was involved in a gun investigation.
The case, along with other alleged incidents of brutality by Prince George's police, prompted the Justice Department to review the county department. In a settlement reached in January 2004, the county police pledged to reduce the use of excessive force by officers. Probes by Fairfax County, the Justice Department and the Prince George's police internal affairs division did not lead to charges against Corporal Jones.
Spectators rowdy before Poe toasting
For the 57th straight year, a mystery man has paid tribute to Edgar Allan Poe by placing roses and a bottle of cognac on the writer's grave to mark his birthday. Some of the 25 spectators, drawn to the tiny, locked graveyard in downtown Baltimore to view the ceremony, climbed over the walls of the site and were "running all over the place trying to find out how the guy gets in," according to Jeff Jerome. The curator of the Poe House and Museum, he said he had to chase people out of the graveyard, fearing they would interfere with the mystery visitor's ceremony.
Democratic rivals lead Ehrlich in poll
A poll by The Wall Street Journal and Zogby International shows that the two Democratic candidates for governor hold leads over Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley is the front-runner in the race with 52.6 percent of respondents favoring him, a nearly 13 percentage point lead over Ehrlich. The other leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, holds a nearly seven-point lead over Ehrlich - 48.9 percent to 42.3 percent. The poll has an error margin of 3.7 percentage points.
Region: Tire transport
2 jurisdictions level licensing charges
A 39-year-old Baltimore man has been charged in the city and in Baltimore County with transporting scrap tires without a license, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday. The charging documents allege that Rahman Smothers transported scrap tires from service stations in the city and county from Jan. 20, 2005, through Aug. 20. The maximum penalty for each county is a $10,000 fine, according to prosecutors. Court hearings have been set for Feb. 14 in the county and Feb. 21 in the city.
Carroll County: Westminster
Crash critically hurt Arundel officer
The Carroll County man critically injured in a car accident Tuesday is a 13-year veteran of the Anne Arundel County Police Department who was on his way to work when the accident occurred, according to Sgt. Shawn A. Urbas of the Anne Arundel County police. Sgt. Michael Barclay, 37, of New Windsor remained in critical condition at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said. Christopher Richardson, 55, of New Windsor, the driver of the other vehicle in the accident, was pronounced dead at the scene.