October 24, 2007

Man gets probation for melee on airliner

A 35-year-old Arizona man was sentenced yesterday to three years' probation for punching two America West crew members aboard a flight from Phoenix to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in March, according to federal prosecutors.

Bryan Leon Spann also was ordered to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation, complete an anger-management program, write a letter to the two flight attendants and donate $1,500 to the Air Charity Network, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office said.

The sentence in U.S. District Court in Baltimore comes after Spann's arrest by Maryland Transportation Authority Police officers who met Flight 81 at the BWI terminal March 10. There, passengers and crews members had subdued Spann with a pair of nylon-and-plastic handcuffs, police said at the time.

Prosecutors said that Spann became "loud, belligerent and combative during the flight" and punched flight attendant Timothy Brennan in the eye with a closed fist and then struck attendant Amelia Ann Hass. The prosecutors said Spann had been drinking, his eyes were "bloodshot and watery" and his speech was slurred.

Police tried to administer a sobriety test but reported that Spann "was unable to either complete or attempt" the test "due to his physical condition."

U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm ordered that Spann spend the first six months of his probation on home detention.

Sun staff

Eastern Shore

Group sets `Poultry Summit'

An international environmental group is holding an "Eastern Shore Poultry Summit" next week at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury.

The point of the Nov. 1 event is to raise awareness of water pollution that runs off large poultry farms and to seek solutions, said William J. Gerlach, attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance.

Among the speakers at the daylong event will be Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a co-founder and chairman of the group; Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler; and Bill Satterfield, director of the Delmarva Poultry Institute, a farm-based group.

"We'd like to start a dialogue among everybody, so we invited the Delmarva Poultry Institute, not just environmental activists," said Gerlach. "Hopefully there will be good discussion and we will build from it."

Gerlach said he hopes to encourage Maryland to issue factory-style water pollution control permits to large poultry farms, to increase the enforcement of water pollution laws, and to allow public access to the nutrient management plans that farmers are supposed to follow.

Tom Pelton

Wye Oak progeny for sale

It's been five years since the demise of Maryland's famed Wye Oak, but one of its descendants could end up in your yard.

The state Department of Natural Resources is taking orders for two-year-old oak seedlings raised from acorns off one of the Wye Oak's offspring. Orders are being taken at the John S. Ayton State Forest Tree Nursery in Preston. Each seedling costs $35.

The 96-foot Wye Oak was thought to be nearly 500 years old when it fell during a storm in June 2002.

Meanwhile, the nursery has been growing several clones of the tree.

Associated Press


Two indicted in death of witness

Two men were indicted yesterday on federal witness tampering charges in the death of a man who was killed after he responded to a subpoena in the investigation of a drug distribution ring, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.

A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Steven Stone, 23, of Frederick and Jessie Dorsz, 26, of Walkersville in the death of David Lee, 20, of Frederick, prosecutors said. Lee's body was found near a driveway in the 9700 block of Reich's Ford Road in July 2005 near Frederick. He had been shot once in the head.

Stone also charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. The indictment accuses Stone and others of operating a drug distribution organization in Frederick.

On June 7, 2005, Lee received a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury in Baltimore investigating the alleged drug ring. He was killed a month later, on July 7.

Associated Press

Prince George's

Exum aide accused of theft

An aide to Prince George's County Council Chairwoman Camille Exum has been accused of stealing $15,000 from the charitable foundation of former Washington Redskins star LaVar Arrington.

A citizen complaint filed this summer accuses 35-year-old Corey Coleman of writing fraudulent checks from the Keys to Life Foundation. A spokesman for the county state's attorney's office says the matter is under investigation.

Coleman is also named in a warrant that accuses her of failing to attend court hearing on the complaint. A spokesman for the county sheriff's office says an attorney for Coleman is seeking to quash the warrant. Coleman and Arrington could not be reached for comment.

Keys to Life was organized in April as a limited liability company that intended to seek federal tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization. Corporate filings list Arrington and Coleman as authorized representatives of the group.

Associated Press

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