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Man Sentenced In Fatal Christmas Eve Crash

by Ethan Rothstein | February 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm | 3,117 views | No Comments

Farhan Khan (photo courtesy ACPD)A 22-year-old Alexandria man received a net seven year prison sentence today after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the Christmas Eve 2012 death of a pedestrian in Ballston.

Farhan Khan was sentenced today in Arlington Circuit Court for the death of Shabnam Motahhar-Tehrani, 32, who was killed in the accident at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Randolph Street. Khan was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with three years suspended. Additionally, his driver’s license will be revoked and he will be on probation for 10 years after his release, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jay Burkholder.

Witnesses said Khan was driving between 50-60 mph when he ran a red light and struck another vehicle. The collision caused his vehicle to spin out and hit Tehrani, who was standing on the sidewalk of Glebe Road. Khan had been cited eight times for previous moving violations, including for speeding the day before the fatal accident, Burkholder said.

“The defendant’s driving behavior was extraordinarily dangerous, particularly because of his excessive speed, the rainy road conditions, and the flagrant manner in which he ran the red light,” Burkholder told ARLnow.com. “Considering his extensive history of speeding, including an offense the day before this accident, and the fact that his gross negligence directly caused the death of Ms. Motahhar-Tehrani, we believed that a significant sentence was appropriate. We are grateful to the Court for its consideration of the evidence.”

The maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter is 10 years in prison. Video of the accident was captured by a camera on a Metrobus that was stopped at the intersection, and it was introduced as evidence against Khan, Burkholder said.

Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department

Woman Pleads Guilty to Death of Infant Son

by Ethan Rothstein | January 24, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 855 views | No Comments

Zoraida Magali Conde Hernandez (photo via ACPD)(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) The Alexandria woman whose infant died after being locked in a hot car for six hours on a sweltering July day pleaded guilty today to felony child neglect.

Zoraida Magal Conde Hernandez, 32, submitted an Alford plea, meaning she accepts the verdict without technically admitting guilt in the case. Hernandez and Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos agreed to two years and six months of probation, and, barring a violation, a dismissal of charges after that.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Molly Newton said Hernandez, after dropping two other children off at their summer activities in Alexandria, forgot that her 8-month-old son was strapped in his car seat when she drove to her job at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington and locked her car in the parking lot.

Newton said it was only when she picked up her 3-year-old daughter on July 5 at 3:30 p.m. did she notice the baby was purple and not breathing. Hernandez then drove to Inova Alexandria Hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead from hyperthermia with an internal temperature of 108 degrees.

“It has been a very difficult case for everyone involved,” Newton told the judge. “We’ve always believed the case has been a crime. The reaction from the community has not been such.”

Newton said that sympathy for the mother in similar cases has led to acquittals despite the evidence. Stamos said after the plea hearing that, in some jurisdictions, Hernandez’s crime wouldn’t bring charges. It’s unusual, Stamos said, for a felony case to “be adjudicated without a finding of guilt.”

“Clearly there are strong views on either side of this,” Stamos said. “It was difficult for the arresting officer, the medical examiner and the physicians involved.”

Stamos said an incident of a child dying in a hot car hadn’t happened in Arlington in 28 years. If Hernandez had been found guilty by a jury, she could have been incarcerated for anywhere from one day to five years. Newton said that, because Hernandez was incarcerated for two weeks before and after her bond hearing, the Commonwealth’s Attorney felt further incarceration wasn’t necessary.

“We want her to be accountable,” Newton said. “By entering this plea, she is. She has done everything we have wanted her to do.”

Hernandez’s other four children are still with Child Protective Services in Alexandria, and her case is making its way through that city’s administrative and court system, Newton said. Hernandez didn’t noticeably react during the proceeding, which took a little less than a half hour, even when Newton read the prosecution’s account of July 5′s event.

Photo via ACPD

Teen Sentenced in Friend’s Skateboarding Death

by ARLnow.com | November 22, 2013 at 10:00 am | 4,538 views | No Comments

Fatal skateboarding accident in Arlington Heights (photo from 6/4/13)A 17-year-old Washington-Lee High School student has been sentenced in connection with the death of his friend, fellow W-L student John Malvar.

Malvar died in a skateboarding accident in June. Police say the 18-year-old was hanging on to the driver’s side window frame of his friend’s pickup truck when he lost his balance and fell, hitting his head on the pavement. Malvar succumbed to his injuries a few hours later. Students held a candlelight vigil in his memory.

The driver was later charged with reckless driving and pleaded guilty earlier this fall. At a juvenile court sentencing yesterday afternoon, a judge sentenced the teen to serve a weekend in juvenile detention. He was also placed on probation; ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and attend a victim awareness program; and had his drivers license revoked for 6 months and a $500 fine imposed.

Navy Federal Robbers Sentenced

by ARLnow.com | October 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm | 2,588 views | No Comments

Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)Four men who robbed a Navy Federal credit union in Ballston last December have been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The men, ages 21 to 24, were convicted in June of three armed robberies in Northern Virginia during the 2012 holiday season. The third robbery, of the Navy Federal, the last of their crime spree.

They robbed the credit union (875 N. Randolph Street) on Saturday, Dec. 22 in a heavily-armed heist reminiscent of a Hollywood movie. No one was hurt and, because police were able to track the money, the men were arrested within an hour of the robbery.

The men were convicted and sentenced in federal court. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Keith Willie Reed, 24, of Washington, D.C.; Tobias Richard Dyer, 21, of Upper Marlboro, Md.; Anthony Cannon, 24, of Washington, D.C.; and Stanley Winston, 23, of Washington, D.C., were each sentenced today to 60 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for conspiracy, robbery affecting interstate commerce, armed robbery of a credit union, use of a firearm during crimes of violence, and being felons in possession of firearms. They were also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $76,915.15.

Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton

Reed, Dyer, Winston, and Cannon were found guilty after a jury trial on June 21, 2013. According to court records and evidence adduced at trial, the defendants committed three armed robberies in Northern Virginia during the December 2012 holiday season. Specifically, on December 7, they robbed VVM, Inc., located in Fairfax County, Virginia. Two days later, they robbed the Shoppers Food Warehouse on Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria, Virginia. Then, on December 22, they robbed the Navy Federal Credit Union on Randolph Street in Arlington, Virginia. The total loss amount from these three armed robberies was over $75,000. In each robbery, three of the defendants entered masked while the fourth waited in a stolen getaway car. All four were arrested within an hour of the Navy Federal Credit Union robbery when law enforcement was able to track the money.

This case was jointly investigated by FBI’s Washington Field Office and Baltimore Field Office, and the Metropolitan, Fairfax County, Arlington County, and Alexandria Police Departments. Assistant United States Attorneys Patricia T. Giles and Rebeca H. Bellows are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Flickr photo by Joe Gratz

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | September 16, 2013 at 8:45 am | 1,300 views | No Comments

Salsa dancing at Crystal City's Sip and Salsa event on Sunday

Arlington Tests ‘Drug Court’ — Arlington is testing out a “drug court,” a program that allows non-violent felons with drug addictions to have their offenses expunged if they successfully break their addiction and stay away from crime. The program is closely overseen by a circuit court judge. [Sun Gazette]

W-L Sets Ambitious AP-IB Goal — Washington-Lee High School has set an “exceptionally ambitious” goal of every graduating senior next spring having taken at least one Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate class. [Washington Post]

Arlington Cyclist Struck in Vienna — An Arlington bicyclist on the W&OD Trail was struck by a car in Vienna on Friday evening. The man did not appear to be seriously injured. [FABB Blog]

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 30, 2013 at 8:45 am | 1,103 views | No Comments

Westover Beer Market (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Yorktown Ranked #17 in Preseason — Yorktown High School’s football team is 17th in the Washington Post’s Top 20 preseason rankings. The team was undefeated in last year’s regular season, but was defeated in the regional championship. Meanwhile, Yorktown senior running back M.J. Stewart is the only Arlington player to make the 2013 All-Met preseason team.

Second Pike Farmers Market to Launch — The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is planning a second farmers market, to be held on the grounds of the new Arlington Mill Community Center. The center is located at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwidde Street, in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood. Organizers believe there are enough residents on the Pike to support two farmers markets. [Patch]

Clerk Prefers Online Juror Submissions — Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson wants those who receive jury duty questionnaires next month to fill the form out online. Ferguson says opting for the electronic form is safe and convenient and saves time. [Sun Gazette]

Moran: Inequalities Remain — The country commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the 93rd anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment this week, but Rep. Jim Moran cautions that the country has taken “troubling steps backward” in recent years. “Inequalities remain, and misguided efforts that will take us backwards continue,” he writes in his weekly editorial. [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

Questionnaires for Jury Duty to Be Mailed Soon

by ARLnow.com | August 28, 2013 at 10:45 am | 1,218 views | No Comments

Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)The annual juror qualification process for Arlington and Falls Church will begin soon.

Questionnaires will be mailed out to about 10,000 randomly-selected residents in early September and must be completed and returned within 10 days. The responses will be used to qualify residents to serve as jurors on civil and criminal trials in Arlington Circuit Court next year.

“Recipients are selected from registered voter rolls provided by the State Board of Elections,” Arlington County said in a press release. “Jury Commissioners appointed by the Court review the questionnaires to determine eligibility for service according to criteria established by the General Assembly.”

Those who fail to return the questionnaire within 10 days could be summoned to the court to complete it in person.

There are 14 conditions that might exempt an individual from jury duty, including being a convicted felon, a full-time teacher, a primary caregiver to a child or a sworn public safety officer. The court will also consider deferral or an excuse from service if being a juror presents an severe hardship for an individual.

In Arlington, most trials last 1 or 2 days, though the normal term of juror service is 4 days — Monday through Thursday. Jurors receive $30 per day in compensation for their service.

Flickr photo by Joe Gratz

Air Force Officer Indicted on Assault Charge

by ARLnow.com | August 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm | 981 views | No Comments

Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski leaves an Arlington courthouseLt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski, the former chief of the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch, has been indicted on a charge of assault and battery.

A grand jury returned the indictment this afternoon, a month after prosecutors dropped a sexual battery charge against Krusinski, who’s accused of grabbing the breasts and buttocks of a woman in Crystal City.

Prosecutors said changing the venue, from General District Court to Circuit Court, and changing the charge, from sexual battery to assault and battery, were largely procedural moves unrelated to the facts of the case. Krusinski’s arrest in May helped to spark a national conversation about sexual assault in the military.

A trial date is expected to be set on Thursday in Arlington Circuit Court.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 14, 2013 at 8:30 am | 1,056 views | No Comments

Sunset at the East Falls Church Metro station (photo by Wolfkann)

Arlington Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted — A grand jury has indicted Arlington County Sheriff’s deputy Craig Patterson in the shooting death of 22-year-old Julian Dawkins. Patterson is charged with murder and a firearms charge. A trial date has yet to be set. [WJLA]

Near Record Humidity Mid-Summer — The mid-summer period from June 30 through July 23 was the second most humid in recorded history. The dew point averaged a steamy 71.2 degrees fahrenheit during that time. [Capital Weather Gang]

Shirlington Bar Crawl Set for Saturday — A bar crawl to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will take place in Shirlington on Saturday afternoon and evening. There will be food and drink specials at each of the four restaurants/bars on the crawl. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

Arlington Residents Charged in Pharmaceutical Scheme

by ARLnow.com | August 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm | 3,005 views | No Comments

Medication (file photo)Two Arlington residents have been arrested and charged with running an illegal pharmaceutical business from their Crystal City apartment.

Syed “Farhan” Huda, 38, and his wife, Deeba Mallick, 36, were among 11 people charged in a 17-count indictment unsealed in federal court today.

Prosecutors say Huda and Mallick masterminded a scheme in which they imported non-FDA-approved prescription drugs from various parts of the world, then switched the labels and sold the drugs to doctors, hospitals and medical practices across the U.S. The scheme is alleged to have generated more than $8.6 million in revenue over the past four years.

The couple and their alleged co-conspirators face various fraud and medical-related charges. They appeared before Judge John F. Anderson in Alexandria federal court today.

On its website, Gallant Pharma promotes its ability to deliver wholesale prescription drugs for “20-80% off your current supplier.”

“Due to our strong international supply chain, we are able to provide products at deep discounts compared to what you are currently paying,” the site says.

The press release about the charges, after the jump.

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Plea Expected in Fatal Christmas Eve Accident

by ARLnow.com | July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm | 1,725 views | No Comments

Farhan Khan (photo courtesy ACPD)A 21-year-old Alexandria man is expected to enter a plea in the case of a fatal Christmas Eve pedestrian accident in Ballston.

An attorney for Farhan Khan told an Arlington Circuit Court judge yesterday that Khan intends to enter a plea. He’s currently charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 30-year-old Shabnam Motahhar-Tehrani of Nokesville, Va.

Khan is accused of running a red light and causing the collision that killed Motahhar-Tehrani, who was standing on a sidewalk on the afternoon of Dec. 24, 2012. The involuntary manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The plea is expected to be entered during a court hearing on Monday, Sept. 30.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | July 3, 2013 at 8:30 am | 1,646 views | No Comments

MorningNotes070313

Miss Arlington Wins Miss Virginia Pageant – Desiree Williams, this year’s Miss Arlington, has captured the crown of Miss Virginia. The Newport News native and Hampton University graduate will compete for Miss America 2014 in September in Atlantic City. Williams performed Cubana Cubana on the piano for her talent and won support with her “Fit and Fun” platform. [Roanoke Times]

Deputy Accused of Murder Denied Bail — Arlington sheriff’s deputy Craig Patterson, accused of murder in the May 22 shooting of Alexandria resident Julian Dawkins, has been denied bail. He’s due back in court on Aug. 6. [WJLA]

Guilty Plea in Smash-and-Grab Robberies – Floyd Davis, 43, of Washington, D.C. pled guilty Tuesday to a role in the smash-and-grab robberies of several high-end retail stores in the D.C. area, including the March Tourneau robbery at Pentagon City mall that cost the store $600,000 worth of merchandise. Davis admitted in Alexandria federal court to scouting the store to see where security guards and patrons were positioned, but said he didn’t break glass or steal merchandise. [Washington Post]

Execs of Arlington-Based Contractors Sentenced for Fraud

by ARLnow.com | June 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm | 2,717 views | No Comments

Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)Former executives of two Arlington-based government security contracting firms are facing jail time after pleading guilty to fraud.

Joseph Richards, 52, of Arlington and David Lux, 66, of Springfield were sentenced today to 27 and 15 months in prison respectively.

They pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit major government fraud in a scheme that falsely portrayed their company as being minority-owned in order to win millions of dollars in contracts intended for “disadvantaged small businesses.”

Arlington resident Keith Hedman, 53, also pleaded guilty in the scheme and is awaiting a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 21. Federal prosecutors say Hedman formed the company Richards and Lux worked for, and also formed a second Arlington-based security contractor that obtained more than $31 million in contract payments under false pretences.

The second company qualified for disadvantaged status as part of the Small Business Administration’s Section 8(a) program — and thus was eligible for preferential treatment in government contracts — after Hedman, a former Marine, selected a Maryland woman to “serve as a figurehead owner.” The woman qualified for the program “based on her Portuguese heritage and history of social disadvantage.”

The Associated Press previously identified the two companies involved as Security Assistance Corp. and Protection Strategies Inc. Both have a listed address in an office building at 2300 9th St S., near Columbia Pike.

“In total, the scheme netted government contracts valued at more than $153 million,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a press release today. The full press release, after the jump.

Flickr photo by Joe Gratz

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Trial Date Set as Krusinski Appears in Court

by ARLnow.com | May 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm | 475 views | No Comments

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the Air Force sexual assault prevention chief who’s accused of sexual battery in Crystal City, will face trial in July.

With his attorney by his side, a stone-faced Krusinski was arraigned in Arlington General District Court this afternoon. Defense attorney Sheryl Shane argued for a later trial date, citing the need to track down and talk to witnesses, but the judge denied the request, instead setting a trial date of Thursday, July 18.

When Krusinski exited the courthouse after today’s hearing, he was mobbed by reporters and photographers from local and national news outlets. Despite a barrage of questions from microphone-toting TV reporters, he said nothing as he got into the back seat of a dark-colored BMW, which quickly drove off.

Krusinski was removed from his post as head of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program on Monday after ARLnow.com first reported that he had been arrested, accused of drunkenly grabbing the breasts and buttocks of a woman he didn’t know in a Crystal City parking lot.

The case became national headline news, leading to statements from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and President Obama, and contributing to a renewed debate about how to deal with the widespread problem of sexual assault in the military.

The charge of sexual battery that Krusinski faces carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine. Prosecutor Cari Steele, an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, declined to say whether she will seek the maximum sentence in the case.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | May 9, 2013 at 9:00 am | 1,028 views | No Comments

"Spring" by Wolfkann

Arraignment for Air Force Officer — Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the airman who was removed from his post as head of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program after being accused of sexual battery in Crystal City, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in an Arlington County courtroom. While the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney office is prosecuting the case, the Air Force has the option of bringing its own case against Krusinski. [Associated Press]

CivFed Opposes Tree Removal at Cemetery — The Arlington County Civic Federation voted Tuesday to oppose a plan to remove 800 trees at Arlington National Cemetery in order to make way for about 30,000 in-ground burial spots and niche spaces. The resolution asks Arlington’s congressional delegation to sponsor legislation to stop the plan and asks the County Board to officially support the legislation. [Sun Gazette]

Four Students Earn Nat’l Merit Scholarships — Four Arlington students have been awarded National Merit Scholarships. The students receiving the $2,500 scholarships are: Ariel Bobbett and Elizabeth Roy of Washington-Lee High School, Nicole Orttung of Yorktown High School, and Robert C. Wharton of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. [Arlington Public Schools]

Day One of School Board Caucus — The first day of the Arlington County Democratic Committee endorsement caucus for School Board will take place tonight from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Drew Model Elementary School (3500 23rd Street S.). The second day of party voting will take place on Saturday. Incumbent James Lander is facing off against challenger Barbara Kanninen for the Democratic endorsement. [Arlington Democrats]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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