State Digest

STATE DIGEST

March 05, 2006

Greenbelt: Federal court

Ex-NSA worker's sentencing delayed

A federal judge postponed last week the sentencing of a former National Security Agency employee who took home classified documents, saying he feared federal sentencing guidelines would impose a punishment too steep for the crime.

Prosecutors want Kenneth W. Ford Jr., 34, of Waldorf sentenced to between nine years and 11 years for his conviction in December of unauthorized possession of national defense information and making a false statement.

But after being presented with cases of those convicted of similar crimes who received light jail sentences or probation, U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte said the guidelines might be too harsh in Ford's case. He rescheduled Ford's sentencing for March 30.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Washington County: Hagerstown

City Council picks Bruchey as mayor

The Hagerstown City Council chose Robert E. Bruchey II as mayor to serve the remainder of the term left vacant by Richard F. Trump's abrupt resignation last month. Bruchey was among four finalists for the job. The city charter required the council to choose a Republican, because that was Trump's party affiliation.

Associated Press

Murder trial set in guard's death

The trial of a state prison inmate charged with killing a correctional officer will begin July 31, according to documents filed in Washington County Circuit Court. Brandon T. Morris, 20, has pleaded not guilty to the 36 counts he faces in the fatal shooting of Jeffery A. Wroten and the carjacking of a taxicab at Washington County Hospital on Jan. 26, according to documents filed by a defense team led by Michael R. Morrissette, public defender for Washington and Frederick counties. State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr. hasn't said whether he will seek the death penalty.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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