City / County Digest


June 11, 2008

Democrats gather to reunite, plan

After a grueling Democratic presidential primary season that pitted longtime allies in Maryland politics against one another, supporters of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama gathered at the governor's mansion in Annapolis last night for the first time since Clinton suspended her campaign.

The meeting, organized and paid for by the Democratic Party, was expected to feature light refreshments and speeches from Gov. Martin O'Malley, who backed Clinton until she ended her campaign last week, and U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who campaigned for Obama. U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler - Clinton and Obama partisans during the primaries, respectively - also were expected to speak.

The gathering was part social function and part organizational meeting in preparation for the November election, said David Paulson, communications director for the Maryland Democratic Party. "Now that we have a candidate, things can shift focus from the hopes and dreams of delegates for a particular candidate so that we can come together and focus on winning in November," he said.

Laura Smitherman


Circuit Court

Murder conspiracy nets 15-year-term

A 22-year-old city woman was sentenced yesterday by a Baltimore Circuit Court judge to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and robbery after she pleaded guilty to helping drown a man in bath water.

Tiffany Natasha Brown of the 1400 block of N. Dukeland St. admitted in August to her role in the murder of Donald Russell, who was tied up before he was killed in Brown's home in 2006.

Prosecutors said that Russell was drowned in an upstairs bathroom and that his body was cut in half and boxed in two storage bins, one of which was left in Prince George's County and the other in Charles County.

Before killing Russell, prosecutors said, Brown and her boyfriend at the time, Octavius Savage, who also lived in the house, bound and gagged the victim, and stole his cash and his ATM and credit cards.

A city jury convicted Savage in April of second-degree murder. He is serving a life sentence.

Brent Jones


West side

Sun street vendor robbed by bicyclist

A Baltimore Sun street hawker was robbed yesterday morning while she was selling newspapers at Monroe Street and North Avenue in West Baltimore, city police said.

Patricia Salmond, 49, said that a man on a bicycle approached her about 10 a.m. and asked to buy two copies of the paper. The man told her that he had only a $20 bill and needed change, Salmond said.

Salmond reached into her pocket and pulled out 30 one-dollar bills, and he grabbed them from her, she said. He rode away on his bike, she said.

She borrowed a cell phone and called police, describing the robber as heavy-set and wearing a brown-and-white striped shirt, according to police documents.

Annie Linskey

Frederick County


Invitation to Muslim sparks lawyer's probe

Saying the public schools could be accused of advocating a specific religion, a lawyer says he is investigating an invitation to a Muslim cleric to speak by students at Urbana High School.

Daniel Cox of the Cox Law Center in Secretary says the invitation appears to endorse the views that will be shared by the cleric.

Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University and the imam of the Islamic Society of Frederick, was invited by members of the school's Middle Eastern Studies Group to speak at their meeting Wednesday. Attendance is voluntary.

Associated Press

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