Maryland News

MARYLAND NEWS

December 11, 2008

Inmate who confessed to 1994 killing sentenced

An inmate who sent a letter to city police confessing to killing a man 14 years ago was sentenced Tuesday to 13 years in prison, to be served at the same time as his prior robbery sentence of 29 years. Robert Preston Howard, 40, of the 3500 block of Oakmont Ave., pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of James Earl Singleton, 22. On Sept. 7, 1994, Singleton was found fatally shot in the 4800 block of Park Heights Ave. More than a decade later, while incarcerated in an Eastern Shore prison for five armed robberies, Howard wrote to Baltimore detectives, confessing to two murders. "I am coming clean about the murders because God says it's the only way to be forgiven," his letter says. Police were able to verify only one homicide, and in January 2007 they charged Howard in Singleton's killing.

Liz F. Kay

Arundel RV blaze is suspected arson

A recreational vehicle that was destroyed by fire in Anne Arundel County this week may have been set ablaze, and fire officials were seeking the public's help in the investigation. The vehicle was in what Anne Arundel fire officials described as a remote wooded area, in the 1600 block of Snug Harbor Road in the Avalon Shores community. It was being used as a residence when a fire was reported at 4:30 p.m. Monday, authorities said. No injuries were reported. Investigators later determined that it was a suspicious incident. Anyone with information can contact investigators at 410-222-TIPS (8477).

Gus G. Sentementes

Charles County to reclaim water for electricity

Charles County officials announced yesterday the construction of a 640-megawatt facility that is expected to use about 750 million gallons a year of reclaimed water to generate electricity. Competitive Power Ventures will be one of a few power plants that will use treated, reclaimed sewage from local municipal wastewater treatment plants for large volumes of water needed for cooling steam in the production of electricity. County officials say about 80 percent of the reclaimed water will be used in the cooling process, significantly reducing the discharge of treated water in the Chesapeake Bay. The reclaimed water will come from the Mattawoman Wastewater Treatment Plant. The facility is expected to produce enough electricity to power 600,000 homes in Washington and Central Maryland.

Brent Jones

Wicomico deputy resigns after DUI arrest

SALISBURY: A Wicomico County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty and resigned after being arrested in July for DUI. Jason Chance, 31, of Delmar pleaded guilty yesterday to negligent driving and failure to stop after an accident. State prosecutors dropped DUI charges, and Chance was sentenced to one year of supervised probation. Maryland State Police gave Chance a breathalyzer test hours after he crashed into a parked truck July 2. Hours later, Chance's wife called police, who noticed alcohol on his breath. He tested 0.04 BAC; the legal limit is 0.08 BAC. The seven-year-veteran with a rank of sergeant submitted his resignation, effective yesterday, to the county sheriff last week. He was suspended with pay when he was arrested.

Associated Press

9 from Cumberland church treated for CO poisoning

CUMBERLAND: Cumberland's fire chief says nine people were taken to a hospital after a carbon monoxide leak at their church led to illness. Bill Herbaugh says the nine people were at the Souls Won Outreach ministries building Tuesday night when a brick and mortar flue collapsed. The collapse caused a buildup of carbon monoxide, which eventually caused the nine people to suffer carbon monoxide poisoning. Co-pastor Shannon Cowley-Watkins said yesterday that the church members are now fine. Once the collapsed flue was discovered, Columbia Gas crews turned off utility service while firefighters ventilated the church, authorities said.

Associated Press

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