Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

May 04, 2006

UM student charged in fatal '05 house fire

A 20-year-old University of Maryland student was arrested yesterday and charged with murder in the death of a fellow student last year in an off-campus house fire, Prince George's County police said.

Daniel Carlisle Murray of the 4600 block of Pontiac St. in Berwyn Heights was arrested on the College Park campus without incident and charged with first-degree murder and arson, police said.

The arrest stems from a yearlong investigation into the death of Michael Anthony Scrocca, a 22-year-old finance major from Branchburg, N.J., who died in the fire in the 7500 block of Princeton Ave. early April 30, 2005.

Investigators ruled Scrocca's death a homicide about a week after the fire, based on the discovery of an unexplained gasoline can on the porch of the house where he and other students lived. The house had been the scene of a party that night.

It was unknown yesterday what led police to Murray, but Prince George's County Police Maj. Daniel Dusseau, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, said, "This is a case of the community coming forward and assisting us once again."

Nicole Fuller

Officer named in shooting

Anne Arundel County police identified yesterday the officer who shot a Herald Harbor man who they said pointed a loaded gun at him.

Officer Stephen Taylor, a 10-year veteran, fired twice at Ricky Alan Brown after Brown repeatedly ignored orders to drop his .223-caliber rifle, police said. Taylor has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.

Brown, 39, of the 1100 block of Sunrise Beach Road, was hit in the stomach and was in stable condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Police said they are preparing charges.

Brown is accused of aiming the rifle loaded with 22 rounds at Taylor, who arrived at Brown's home with two other officers at 3 p.m. Tuesday after getting a report of a possibly suicidal and intoxicated person there.

According to Lt. David Waltemeyer, a police spokesman, Brown came outside with the gun and told the officers to get off his property.

Waltemeyer said that Taylor felt his life was in danger when Brown pointed the gun at him.

Nia-Malika Henderson

Mid in misconduct case named

An attorney for a Naval Academy senior accused of sexual misconduct has identified him as Kenny Ray Morrison, 23, a linebacker on last year's bowl-winning football team.

William Ferris, a civilian lawyer, said Morrison is innocent and will be exonerated at trial in July.

Morrison, a Kingwood, Texas, native, is charged with indecent assault, indecent acts and conduct unbecoming an officer after a Feb. 4 incident at a Washington hotel. Charging documents say he tried to take advantage of a drunken female midshipman and have sex with her in front of another midshipman, and exposed himself to several midshipmen.

Police seek 2 in attack on teens

Two men are wanted in the robbery and assault of three Carroll County teenagers who were fishing Tuesday afternoon in the Liberty watershed in Finksburg, state police at the Westminster barracks said yesterday.

The three victims -- Chris E. Norris, 18, of Woodbine; Andrew T. Shaw, 19, of Sykesville; and a 17-year-old from Eldersburg -- were kicked and hit, had their money stolen and their mobile phones and car keys thrown into the reservoir, police said.

The attackers, who left the area in a black Jeep Cherokee, were described as being in their early 20s, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Maryland State Police at 410-386-3000.

Laura McCandlish

Man sentenced in check scheme

A federal judge in Baltimore sentenced a 36-year-old Las Vegas man yesterday to serve 1 1/2 years in prison for his role in a false check scheme to defraud a Howard County company that rents and sells truck trailers.

Jeffrey L. Divens pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to transport stolen checks. In sentencing Divens yesterday, U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson also ordered that Divens pay $381,585 in restitution, prosecutors said.

According to court papers, Divens conspired with his sister, Donna R. Mackall, who was employed by Allied Trailer Sales & Rentals in Savage as an accounts receivable clerk. Together the pair embezzled company funds sent to Divens through fake ledger entries and stolen checks, court papers say. During the course of the conspiracy, checks in the amount of $381,585 were stolen, according to prosecutors.

Mackall, 42, of Charlotte, N.C., pleaded guilty to the same charge Oct. 18 and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. In addition to the prison time, Nickerson ordered that Mackall pay $442,000 in restitution.

Matthew Dolan

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