Week In Review

July 16, 2006

Pasadena

Man, 25, is held in mother's death

The 25-year-old Pasadena man who is charged with fatally shooting his mother July 8 had been ordered seven years ago not to have any contact with her or his stepfather after he was charged with "false imprisonment" and convicted on a second-degree assault offense involving them, court records show.

Despite that criminal history, Zachary Neiman, 25, was living with his parents on the 100 block of Beacrane Road when, police say, he fired a shotgun twice at his mother as she sat on their living room couch.

Rae Bajus, the suspect's 53-year-old mother, was struck both times in the upper body and pronounced dead at Anne Arundel Medical Center, said Lt. David D. Waltemeyer, a spokesman with the Anne Arundel County police. The suspect's stepfather, David Bajus, was sitting with his wife when the shooting occurred. He escaped to a neighbor's house and called 911, police said.

Police have not given a motive for the shooting, but Waltemeyer said Neiman's mother and his stepfather had been concerned about "his mental status" in recent days. Waltemeyer said there was no physical fight before the shooting.

Maryland section, Tuesday

Naval Academy

Mid testifies Owens raped her

A female midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy testified Tuesday that Lamar Owens - Navy's star quarterback last season - raped her after a night of heavy drinking in January, but defense attorneys attacked the woman's credibility and said the sex was consensual.

"I was sobbing," the woman told a packed military courtroom, describing to a Navy prosecutor her state shortly after the alleged rape. "I was scared, sir."

Asked why, she said: "He had just - Midshipman Owens had just raped me."

The brief pause was as close as the midshipman came to losing her composure during six hours of testimony at the Washington Navy Yard. She spoke evenly about the experience during the first day of Owens' court-martial on charges of rape and other offenses.

The Sun does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Defense attorneys on Tuesday presented Owens' side of the story for the first time since he was charged in February.

Reid Weingarten, Owens' civilian attorney, said that the woman sent Owens an instant message and invited him to her Bancroft Hall dorm room in the early-morning hours of Jan. 29. He went there, followed her into bed and began having consensual sex, Weingarten said. The female midshipman fell asleep and Owens left, Weingarten said.

When Owens expressed remorse to the woman's friends and then to her in a phone conversation recorded by a Navy investigator Feb. 8, Weingarten said his client "saw his life flashing before him" in making potentially incriminating statements to appease the woman.

Maryland section, Wednesday

Edgewater

Pilot is injured in small plane crash

A small, privately owned airplane crashed in a soybean field Tuesday morning, critically injuring the pilot as he attempted a landing at Lee Airport near Edgewater.

The crash scattered parts in a residential neighborhood as the aircraft hit several trees.

The pilot and only occupant, Ralph Dilks, 64, of Cape May, N.J., was pulled unconscious from the wreckage by several area residents who heard the crash shortly before 10 a.m.

Witnesses said Dilks had serious head injuries from the impact, which left the cockpit obliterated.

Dilks had flown from Ocean City, N.J., planning to pick up his brother and another person at Lee Airport and fly them back to join Dilks' mother for lunch, said Ted Coleman, who keeps his plane at Lee Airport and was standing with the other two people when the crash occurred out of their view.

Dilks was flying his brother's plane, which authorities identified as a single-engine, four-seat Cirrus.

Dilks has had a pilot's license since 1988, said Jeff Guzzetti, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who was at the scene.

He said Dilks was experienced enough to be instrument-rated and allowed to fly in poor weather.

Conditions were hot and humid, but no unusual weather pattern was immediately apparent, Guzzetti said.

Maryland section, Wednesday

Anne Arundel

Charter school put on notice

Anne Arundel County's new schools superintendent expressed concern Wednesday about a troubled charter school, saying he would recommend shutting the school if it fails to meet certain benchmarks by the end of the year.

Chesapeake Science Point, one of two new charters in Anne Arundel, has had difficulties since its opening in the fall, leading the school system to remove its director, place its own administrators in the school's top two positions and reassign three teachers.

The school board had asked school system staff to renegotiate the school's charter, which they thought they had done. Wednesday, representatives of the charter school submitted changes to the new agreement. They also filed - belatedly, the school system staff said - incorrect financial information.

Attending his first school board meeting, Kevin Maxwell, a former community superintendent in Montgomery County, recommended to the board that the school be allowed to remain open under provisionary status and that the school system staff come up with "milestones" for the school to meet no later than the end of the first semester.

If the school does not, he said, "I will make a recommendation at the end of the semester to not renew the charter."

Maryland section, Thursday,

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