Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

August 23, 2007

A return to the scene of crime is disallowed

Saying he had "grave security concerns," an Anne Arundel County judge yesterday rejected a highly unusual defense request to allow a teenager charged with shooting a Secret Service agent to leave jail to return to the crime scene, Westfield Annapolis mall.

Javaughn Norman Adams, 18, is charged in a 15-count indictment with attempted murder and related counts in the Nov. 18 fracas that police believe was sparked by fights between rival factions of Annapolis teenagers.

His trial is scheduled to begin in October.

Defense lawyers said they expect to take Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II up on his offer to allow them to renew their request if they can justify the need. Videos and diagrams exist, but the defense maintains there is not a single continuous tape showing what happened and that the police investigation leaves questions unanswered.

"You wouldn't buy a house based on a video," Frank C. Gray Jr., one of Adams' lawyers, said after the hearing.

Prosecutors had objected to allowing Adams into the mall, though he would be under guard, saying they could not recall such a request in more than two decades.

"We are trying to keep the defendant out of public places for the next 30 years -- we are not interested in a field trip to the mall," said Deputy State's Attorney William D. Roessler.

Mulford also ordered police to hand over some confidential documents on a former officer and former crime scene technician to lawyers in the case because they might be of use to the defense.

The internal affairs documents do not stem from the shooting, but are from unrelated matters involving former Cpl. Fred Reynolds and former technician Joel Baker, according to county lawyers. Prosecutors declined to coment on the documents, saying the contents would not affect their preparation of the case, in which 32 police officers may be called as witnesses at trial.

Andrea F. Siegel

Activist's home firebombed

City police and fire investigators were seeking the public's help in identifying whoever firebombed the Waverly home of a community activist early yesterday in retalitation for her reporting drug dealings in her neighborhood, an act that forced her to be placed in seclusion, authorities said.

The woman's name and her address were not released.

About 2:30 a.m. yesterday, someone threw a Molotov cocktail onto the woman's front porch that exploded and scorched the exterior of her home and that of a neighbor, authorities said.

There were no injuries, and damage was minor.

Authorities said the firebombing was one of at least two earlier incidents believed aimed at harming the woman or forcing her to move.

In the past two weeks, the woman' car was vandalized and white paint was splashed on her home.

Anyone knowing those responsible is urged to call 911.

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