Week In Review

December 10, 2006


Bridge honors Pearl Harbor

Sixty-five years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, World War II veterans attended the dedication of the U.S. 50 bridge over the Severn River as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.

It culminated a decade-long effort by Maryland's branch of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association to dedicate a road or bridge in the state in honor of the more than 2,400 U.S. servicemen and civilians who were killed Dec. 7, 1941. Five U.S. battleships were sunk or seriously damaged, and nearly 200 aircraft were destroyed. The attack propelled the United States into a worldwide conflict against Japan and its Axis allies, including Germany. The event galvanized the nation as no other event until the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association searched across Maryland to find a suitable road or bridge that had not already been dedicated. When a Pearl Harbor monument was placed four years ago at the state's World War II Memorial at Route 450 overlooking the Naval Academy Bridge, activists narrowed their search to Anne Arundel County. They soon discovered that the U.S. 50 bridge that crosses the Severn, commonly referred to as the Severn River Bridge, had not been dedicated. Completed in 1994, the bridge stands within a mile of the military academy.

Maryland section, Thursday

Anne Arundel

Conviction affirmed in Arnold killing

On trial for the fifth time in the killing of his friend's mother in her Arnold home, handyman Albert Givens was convicted again Wednesday of first-degree murder.

"I'm hopeful that this verdict will be the verdict that will stay with us," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee. He said "there would be no reason" his office would not seek a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole -which Givens had received twice before, for convictions that were later thrown out - when the former Annapolis resident is sentenced Jan. 8 for the 1992 killing of Marlene Kilpatrick, 55.

During the most recent trial, which began Nov. 27, the defense unsuccessfully sought a mistrial, pointing to publicity and the fainting by a juror when shown bloody photos.

Prosecutors based their case on DNA evidence that tied Givens, 52, to a Coke bottle in Kilpatrick's kitchen; a clean wrench they said left its mark in Kilpatrick's bruising, found in Givens' otherwise dirty toolbox; and Givens' changing statements, one of which blamed one of Kilpatrick's sons for the murder.

The defense said that at least two other people were with Kilpatrick on Jan. 2, 1992, the day she was bludgeoned and stabbed to death, and that its experts could not conclude that Givens' wrench was the murder weapon.

Maryland section, Thursday

Anne Arundel

Leopold gets tough on watersheds

In one of his first official acts, new Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold signed an executive order Wednesday emphasizing that violators of state laws designed to protect critical watersheds could be criminally prosecuted. Leopold, a moderate Republican who succeeded Democrat Janet S. Owens on Monday, already possessed the authority to refer alleged violators to the state attorney general's office for reviews. But having campaigned on a message that he would not be "controlled by developers," Leopold said he wanted to set a tone for his administration. "Violations of the environmental laws will trigger immediate actions by the administration," Leopold said in a statement.

The order was signed two days after the county Board of Appeals granted retroactive approvals to allow a professional homebuilder, Daryl C. Wagner, to keep a palatial home he built without permits. The county filed a lawsuit last year that seeks to tear down Wagner's home. Leopold said Tuesday that he would not drop the litigation.

Maryland section, Thursday

Anne Arundel

New evidence backs alleged rapist

In a major break for a former Navy football player accused of rape, new test results show that neither of his two alleged victims was given a date-rape drug, his civilian attorney said Wednesday.

The results of a second hair analysis, requested by military prosecutors, contradict previous evidence in the Naval Academy's case against Kenny Ray Morrison, 24, said William Ferris, his lawyer. Samples from the two women, who said they were attacked on separate occasions this year, tested negative for gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, a common date-rape drug. The French lab ChemTox, a leading testing center for GHB hair samples, conducted the test after the previous GHB evidence was discredited at a preliminary hearing last month, Ferris said. The government's expert acknowledged on the stand that the positive GHB result did not fall into the time frame of either alleged assault.

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