Week In Review

July 09, 2006

Anne Arundel

Police begin using beanbag shotguns

After a spate of officer-related shootings involving Anne Arundel County police, a county patrol officer used a less-lethal beanbag shotgun on July 3 to disarm a suspect they described as violent and suicidal.

It marked the first time a county patrol officer had used one of the recently issued weapons to address a threat. The beanbag shotgun discharges a sack of pellets, the impact of which is meant to disable a subject without causing severe injury.

After police shot three people -- including a college freshman wielding a pair of scissors -- in three weeks in the spring, some County Council members had urged equipping more officers with such weapons as stun guns and beanbag shotguns.

In Monday's incident, an officer shot Timothy Lee Carnathan, 44, of Maryland City once in the chest with a beanbag round after he threatened himself and police officers with a steak knife, police said.

Carnathan was shot at a range of six to eight feet but was not seriously wounded, said Lt. David D. Waltemeyer Jr., a police spokesman. Experts lauded the department for arming some patrol officers with the beanbag shotguns but cautioned that in this instance, the weapon was fired at too close a range and that Carnathan could have been seriously injured or killed.

Carnathan was arrested without incident at his home Wednesday night after leaving Laurel Regional Hospital, where he had been taken after the shooting. It took two days for police to arrest Carnathan because officers failed to guard him at the hospital.

Maryland section, Thursday-Friday

Verizon is county's 3rd cable provider

Verizon Communications will be the third cable provider in Anne Arundel County now that the County Council and executive have approved a 15-year deal with the telecommunications company.

County Executive Janet S. Owens signed legislation Thursday approving a cable franchise agreement with Verizon to provide cable service to two-thirds of the county initially -- and about three-quarters of Anne Arundel within seven years. The council unanimously passed the measure Wednesday night. The contract will go into effect in 45 days.

Verizon will join Comcast Corp. and Millennium Digital Media in providing cable to county residents. Anne Arundel is the second Maryland county, after Howard, to grant Verizon a cable franchise.

Under the deal, Verizon will provide free basic cable service to county schools, libraries, police and fire stations and other municipal buildings, and five channels will be reserved for public access. The county will receive 5 percent of all cable revenue from Verizon.

The company has been laying fiber optic cable in Anne Arundel for about a year, and it has been offering high-speed Internet access in the county since last fall. Verizon plans to offer "bundled services" that include phone, high-speed Internet and cable television. Comcast and Millennium are marketing similar combined services.

Maryland section, Friday

Naval Academy

Ex-Navy player's trial is tomorrow

The military rape trial of Lamar Owens, Navy's star quarterback last season, will begin tomorrow despite a judge's criticism of the Naval Academy superintendent for sending e-mails to the school community that "insinuate guilt."

As in several previous trials involving midshipmen and officers accused of sexual misconduct, defense attorneys alleged that Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt biased the potential jury pool -- which would be made up of officers at the academy.

In Owens' case, defense attorneys said Rempt crossed the line by having e-mails sent to the academy faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The judge's statements were made in a pretrial hearing at the Washington Navy Yard and were first reported on the Web site of The Washington Post.

Cmdr. John Maksym, the military judge, said from the bench that the e-mails create the "appearance of unlawful command influence."

"The reality is some of these are rather damnable e-mails," Maksym said. "They insinuate guilt. They suggest it. They're simply badly written."

Maksym did not dismiss the charges in Owens' case, but he said defense attorneys would be allowed to eliminate three potential jurors without cause, two more than are normally allowed.

Rempt said on the stand that the e-mails were an attempt to pre-empt media reports about the charges against Owens, 22. The former football player, who was not allowed to graduate in May, is accused of raping a female midshipman in her dorm room Jan. 29, according to charging documents.

Staff and wire reports, Maryland section, Friday

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