City/county Digest


September 12, 2006

Baltimore man, 31, convicted of killing

Jason Beau Moody - accused of fatally shooting a Baltimore man in front of the man's young son - has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter and weapons charges but acquitted of the more serious charges of first- and second-degree murder.

Moody, 31, is to be sentenced next month. The 10-year-old boy who witnessed the shooting was among the witnesses who testified. So, too, was Stephanie Madariaga, the boy's mother, who was also there and who pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the killing. She is to be sentenced soon.

Moody's trial, which came more than three years after Kevin Shields, 26, was fatally shot, almost never happened. In August, Moody's defense attorneys made a motion to dismiss the charges, saying prosecutors had waited too long to pursue the case and that Moody's right to a speedy trial had been violated.

But city prosecutors said they waited because they anticipated reaching a plea deal with Moody that would involve federal gun charges and the city murder charges. Only when the federal case fell apart did city prosecutors take action.

Circuit Judge Althea M. Handy ruled the murder case could proceed, but Moody's defense attorneys vowed to appeal her ruling if he was convicted. The jury announced its verdicts late Friday.

Julie Bykowicz

Carroll County: Westminster

Arsonists sought after two fires

The Westminster Police Department is searching for the people responsible for starting two fires over the weekend, police said yesterday.

The first incident occurred about 6:20 a.m. Sunday in the first block of Park Ave. A mattress and trash container were set on fire, causing $5,000 worth of damage to a nearby garage, police said.

A pile of trash also was set on fire beside the road off the first block of Pennsylvania Ave. about 2:30 a.m. yesterday, police said. No one was injured in either fire.

Westminster police are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Anyone with information should call 410-848-4646 or 410-857-TIPS (8477).

Laura McCandlish

Baltimore: Education

Classes set for entrepreneurs

Baltimore City Community College is planning five short Saturday courses this fall to provide management tools needed by small-business entrepreneurs. The classes - set for the college's Business and Continuing Education Center at 710 E. Lombard St. - include such topics as "From Idea to Successful Business Startup," "Creating a Winning Business Plan," "Growing Small Business Profits," "Supervision Skills for Success" and "Leadership Principles for Success." The first class is set for Saturday, and the last one will be held Dec. 9. Cost is $35 per course, which run either one or two Saturdays. More information: 410-986-5424.

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