Pair arrested in Va. in restaurant robbery

Baltimore County Digest

August 17, 2006

A 28-year-old man and his girlfriend were arrested yesterday in Virginia and charged with stabbing a Denny's manager during a brazen Monday morning robbery, Baltimore County authorities said.

David Theodore Burton and Sarah Lynn Higgins, 20, are charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault and armed robbery of the restaurant manager in Fullerton. Burton is accused of stabbing Michael Frederick, the 51-year-old manager of the Denny's in the 8000 block of Belair Road, and taking cash that Frederick had intended to deposit at a bank.

Baltimore County police had alerted authorities in Virginia that Burton once had a Virginia driver's license and asked them to look for the man.

Early yesterday, a sheriff's deputy in Gloucester County, near Williamsburg, spotted Burton driving past a police station. The deputy recognized the vehicle as being wanted, and Burton and Higgins were arrested, said Bill Toohey, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Burton had never worked at the Denny's, but a cooperating witness has told police that the suspect had information about the restaurant's operations, Toohey said.

The two are being held in Gloucester County, awaiting extradition to Maryland.

The Denny's manager, who was seriously hurt in the incident, was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He remained there yesterday in serious condition, said Cindy Rivers, a hospital spokeswoman.

Laura Barnhardt

Owings Mills

Psychological testing ordered

The 24-year-old medical student charged with fatally shooting a stranger at an Owings Mills movie theater in June has been ordered to submit to a psychiatric evaluation and a brain scan.

Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar is scheduled to be taken next Wednesday from the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson to a Baltimore medical facility for an MRI of his brain, according to a court order signed Friday by Circuit Judge Thomas J. Bollinger Sr.

Jabbar has pleaded "not criminally responsible" in the June 15 killing at the Loews Valley Center 9 on Reisterstown Road. His attorney, Donald Daneman, has argued in court filings that Jabbar is not competent to stand trial.

Daneman did not return a phone message yesterday and has declined to comment on the case in the past. Prosecutor Rachel Cogen said the court-ordered MRI is related to the defendant's plea. "The defense obviously has a concern about the possibility of some brain injury or something," said Cogen, an assistant state's attorney in Baltimore County.

Jabbar is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Paul Schrum, 62, a medical supplies salesman from Pikesville. He was killed about 20 minutes into an evening showing of X-Men: The Last Stand when, police said, a gunman stood, told everyone to get on the floor and fired four shots. The man then walked to the lobby, placed a handgun on the counter, told theater management that he had shot someone and waited for police to arrive.

Jabbar attended medical school in the Caribbean but was living at home for the summer with his family in the Baltimore County neighborhood of Anton North.

Jennifer McMenamin


Guilty plea in bribery scheme

A 55-year-old Nottingham man pleaded guilty yesterday to bribery involving construction projects at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Dennis O. Roberts is the third person convicted as part of the Maryland attorney general's investigation into corruption involving building projects at the university.

He was charged with participating in a six-year scheme that included providing home improvements, mobile phone service, golf vacations and cash to a UMBC construction manager who, in exchange, steered projects to Roberts' then-employer, Hayes Construction Co. of Phoenix, according to the attorney general's office.

Roberts is scheduled to be sentenced in Baltimore County Circuit Court in October.

Jennifer McMenamin


Women's business meeting set

The Maryland Small Business Development Center will hold a Women's Business Roundtable from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 7 at Towson University.

Topics include the status of women-owned businesses in the state; resources available to women-owned businesses; and moving from the corporate world to business owner.

The session will be held at the university's Administration Building, Room 424, 7720 York Road. The session is free, but advance registration is required by Sept. 1.

Information or to register: 410-704-5001.

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