Roger K. Clark III is facing a first degree murder charge in connection with the 2009 slaying of Diener. The 57-year-old Diener was found lying on a Clarendon side street in the early morning of Dec. 29, 2009. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
After a year and a half investigation, police arrested Clark and another man in June. The other suspect has since been released, while Clark faces a jury trial that’s currently scheduled to begin on Jan. 9, 2012.
The trial is expected to last at least four days, according to Diener’s sister.
GOP Will Likely Control Va. Senate — Despite the clean sweep by Arlington Democrats, it looks like Republicans will pick up the two Virginia Senate seats they needed to wrest control of the state Senate from Democrats. “If the results hold, Republicans will have complete control of state government for only the second time since the Civil War,” the Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, Republicans will now have a two-thirds majority in the House of Delegates after picking up six seats there. Gov. Bob McDonnell said the GOP-controlled General Assembly will be more likely to push a “pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage” agenda.
Hawaiians Protest Bail of Arlington Resident — Dozens of demonstrators marched through Honolulu last night to protest the release of State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy, an Arlington resident, on $250,000 bail. Deedy, 27, is charged with second-degree murder after shooting a man in the chest during a late-night argument inside a McDonald’s in Waikiki. [Associated Press]
Closures Planned for Tuckahoe 5K — The third annual Tuckahoe 5K run will be held on Saturday morning. Rolling street closures are planned in the East Falls Church neighborhood between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. For interested runners, limited race day registration will be available at Tuckahoe Elementary School. [Tuckahoe 5K].
Cookie Within a Cookie in Clarendon — What do you get when you place an Oreo cookie within a chocolate chip cookie? You get an ‘Oreo in a Blanket,’ which is being offered by Bakeshop in Clarendon (1025 N. Fillmore Street). [Clarendon Culture]
Mailer Blasts GOP State Senate Candidate — A mysterious last-minute political mailer has been sent to voters in the 32nd state Senate District. The mailer attacks GOP state Senate candidate Patrick Forrest for being “openly homosexual,” supporting “illegal immigration reform” and for supposedly working for President Obama’s transition team. Forrest’s opponent, incumbent state Sen. Janet Howell, spoke out against the mailers, calling them “disgusting and despicable.” The mailing’s return address comes back to a parking lot, and the organization it purports to come from does not exist. [Blue Virginia]
Arlington Man Charged With Murder — A 27-year-old Arlington man has been charged with second degree murder in Hawaii. Christopher Deedy, a special agent with the State Department, allegedly shot a man during a late-night argument at a McDonald’s in Waikiki. [KHON 2]
Post Endorses Tejada, Hynes — The Washington Post has endorsed incumbent Democrats Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes for reelection to the Arlington County Board. The paper’s editorial board called their opponent, Green Party candidate Audrey Clement, “well informed” but “anti-growth.” Clement, meanwhile, is accusing Tejada and Hynes of being “in bed with developers.” [Washington Post]
D.C. Cop Seeks Legal Fees from Arlington Lawyer — A D.C. police officer is asking her ex-boyfriend, an Arlington lawyer, to pay her legal fees (more than $70,000) in a case that included accusations of “attempted stalking,” defamation and civil rights violations. [Legal Times]
Marines Want More Access to APS Students — The U.S. Marine Corps is asking Arlington Public Schools to relax its restrictions on military recruiting at school facilities. While more restrictive than Fairfax County or other local jurisdictions, the school system argues that its rules are consistent with federal law. The Marine Corps says its rate of enlisting Arlington students is far below expectations. [Sun Gazette]
Norwood Found Guilty of Murder — A Montgomery County jury has found Brittany Norwood guilty of the brutal murder of Rosslyn resident Jayna Murray. Murray was found beaten and stabbed to death in a Bethesda Lululemon yoga store in March. [ABC 7]
Cain Accused of Sexual Harassment in Crystal City — Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain has been facing accusations that he sexually harassed female employees while serving as head of the National Restaurant Association. The latest accuser alleges that one incident of harassment happened at an (unnamed) restaurant in Crystal City. [Politico]
‘Puzzle Fest’ This Weekend — Arlington Public Library is hosting its first-ever Arlington Puzzle Festival on Saturday. From 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) puzzle enthusiasts can compete in crossword and Sudoku tournaments. There will also be speakers and a scavenger hunt. [Library Blog]
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
Teacher Diversity Lags in Arlington — While 28 percent of Arlington public school students are Hispanic, only 7 percent of APS teachers are Hispanic. The school system has been actively working to diversify its teacher pool, however. Over the past year, 14 percent of new teachers hired have been Hispanic. [Sun Gazette]
Jury Selection for Lululemon Murder Trial — Jury selection is beginning today in Maryland in the trial of Brittany Norwood, the woman charged in the murder of Rosslyn resident Jayna Murray. Murray was found bludgeoned to death inside a Lululemon Athletica store in Bethesda in March. [WJLA]
Wardian Strikes Again — Prolific marathoner and Arlington resident Michael Wardian has “obliterated” another record. He ran the Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Ultramarathon in central Pennsylvania in 5 hours, 33 minutes and 47 seconds — beating the course record by nearly 10 minutes. [Centre Daily Times]
Photo courtesy Anonymous
A preliminary hearing was held yesterday afternoon for Roger Clark, one of two suspects in the 2009 murder of Lyon Village resident Carl Diener.
The court found probable cause and ordered the Clark held pending an indictment by a grand jury. If an indictment is handed down, a court date is expected to be set on Sept. 22.
Prosecutors say that a trial in the case would likely take place early next year.
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Carl Diener was a fitness nut — a big, strong man who, having retired from the federal government, decided to apply his love of exercise by working part-time at two local fitness facilities.
When employees at one of those facilities — the YMCA Arlington Tennis & Squash Center at 3400 N. 13th Street — first heard yesterday that two men had finally been arrested for Carl’s 2009 murder, at least one woman burst into tears.
“We’ve all been sort of waiting around and hoping [police] find who did it,” said Audrey Giberman, who works at the Tennis Center and who formed a close bond with Carl through the years. “He’s always been on our mind. It was a horrible, horrible tragedy.”
Giberman recounted vivid memories of the morning when Carl, a Lyon Village resident, did not show up to work as usual.
“The morning he didn’t show up, Sport and Health (Diener’s other fitness center employer) called me and said… ‘Carl’s not here.’ My front desk started calling all the hospitals. A Sport and Health member actually went to Carl’s apartment,” Giberman remembered. “When it was officially announced by police… it was very hard. Actually some of the staff went for counseling, it was such a shock.”
Now, Giberman and others are hoping that the arrests will help shed light on those lingering, unanswered questions surrounding the murder.
“You hear all these things, and you just want to know why,” she said. “You just want closure.”
Police have identified the two suspects arrested for Carl’s murder as Roger K. Clark III (top), 20, of Severn, Maryland, and Javon Martin (bottom), 24, of Washington D.C. Both men are now being held in the Arlington County Detention Center. So far, authorities have not revealed a motive in the case.
Diener, a 57-year-old Lyon Village resident, was found lying dead on a Clarendon street early on the morning of Dec. 29, 2009. Late last year, friends and family held a vigil to mark the one year anniversary of Diener’s death, and to draw public attention to the police department’s continued effort to find clues about the case. With today’s announcement, those efforts seem to have paid off.
The two men arrested are both in their early 20s. One was arrested in Montgomery County, Md. and the other was arrested in the District, according to police.
Patti Diener Lough, Carl’s sister, says she hopes the arrests will help her family and the community feel safer.
“I’m just thrilled,” she told ARLnow.com. “The Arlington County Police obviously didn’t consider this a cold case. I don’t believe that they would be making an arrest if they didn’t have information that was going to stick.”
“I am just glad that we’re going to have some more information” about the case, Diener Lough added. “It doesn’t change anything. Nothing can bring Carl back, of course. But it will allow the family and the Arlington community to process this and feel better and safer.”
Diener Lough said the arrests support what she has believed all along — that the murder a “crime of opportunity” by multiple assailants who did not know Carl.
Here’s the press release from the Arlington County Police Department.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit announces several arrests related to the homicide that occurred on December 29, 2009. At 2:50 a.m. that morning, medic units and police responded to a call regarding an injured man lying on the street in the 3200 block of N. 13th Street. They located Carl Diener, 57, an Arlington resident, deceased.
Detectives have conducted an extensive investigation over the past year and a half and obtained warrants charging Roger K. Clark III, 20, of Severn, Maryland, and Javon Martin, 24, of Washington D.C. with Murder. Roger Clark III, was arrested on June 6, 2011, and Javon Martin was arrested on June 8, 2011. They are pending extradition to Virginia.
“I am extremely pleased with our detectives’ investigation,” stated Arlington County Police Chief M. Douglas Scott, “It illustrates that there are no “cold cases” in Arlington; we continue to investigate crimes long after they occur.”
Diener’s death was a shock to the Clarendon community. His family, friends, and concerned business owners took up a collection of $25,000 for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for his death. They also held several vigils and benefits in his memory.
The Arlington County Police Department would like to thank the men and women of the Washington Field Office of The Federal Bureau of Investigation, The United States Marshals Service, the Montgomery County Police Department and the Metropolitan Police Department for their assistance in locating these fugitives.
Anyone who has additional information about this case is asked contact Detective Rosa Ortiz at (703) 228-7402. Det. Ortiz can also be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Witnesses can also call the Arlington Police Tip-Line at (703) 228-4242.
Federal prosecutors say Torrez is responsible for the 2009 death of Amanda Snell, a 20-year-old Navy intelligence specialist who was found dead in her Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall barracks two years ago.
Torrez is currently serving five consecutive life sentences for the abduction of two Arlington women and the abduction and brutal rape of another in February 2010. Arlington prosecutor Theo Stamos called Torrez a “predator” during his sentencing. Now he’s being charged with first degree murder in Snell’s death.
“Today, we are charging Jorge Torrez with murdering a young Navy Petty Officer in her barracks,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. “This indictment is the result of extreme dedication by NCIS and the Arlington County Police Department to follow every lead possible to bring the person responsible for Amanda’s murder to justice.”
Snell’s mother told the Washington Examiner that she is hoping the case will provide some closure.
“I’m waiting until this is all over and I actually find out why,” Cynthia Snell told the paper.
Torrez has also been linked via DNA to a 2005 double homicide outside Chicago, but has yet to be charged in the case.
Westover Decision Delayed Until Tuesday — The County Board voted on Saturday to delay a decision on live entertainment for the Westover Market’s beer garden until Tuesday, giving county staff three days to come up with permit conditions that would be more acceptable to concerned neighbors. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Police Seek Tips in 1997 Cold Case – ACPD’s cold case unit is asking for the public’s help in solving the case of 17-year-old Vu Huynh, who was murdered outside Hi-Cue Billiards on Columbia Pike in March 1997. [Washington Examiner]
Arlington to Issue Bonds — The County Board has approved the sale of up to $207 million in bonds, to fund projects like the Arlington Mill Community Center, Long Bridge Park, the new Yorktown and Wakefield high schools and the Water Pollution Control Plant. The bonds will go on sale next month, and will be available to individual investors. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White
Charging documents say Murray’s Lululemon store coworker, 28-year-old Brittany Norwood, stabbed and beat her to death, then tried to cover up the crime. Norwood, who was found tied up in a bathroom, initially told detectives that two men wearing gloves and masks forced their way into the store and assaulted them. Norwood was arrested on Friday and charged with first degree murder after police found evidence that allegedly conflicted with Norwood’s story.
Norwood was a standout soccer player at Decatur High School, near Seattle, and at Stony Brook University in New York. The Washington Post reports that Montgomery County authorities are investigating whether Murray may have been killed after Norwood was accused of stealing merchandise.
Updated on 3/22/11 — ABC7 is reporting that Norwood may have been suspected of stealing from another Lululemon store before being transferred to the Bethesda store.
A 30-year-old Rosslyn resident was murdered Friday night during an apparent robbery at a Lululemon store in Bethesda.
Jayna T. Murray, a store employee, was found dead and a co-worker was found injured inside the upscale Bethesda Row store Saturday morning. Police say they were attacked by two men wearing masks and gloves around 10:00 p.m., after closing the store for the night.
In addition to her work at the Lululemon, Murray was close to completing an MBA with a concentration in marketing at John Hopkins’ Carey Business School, according to her Linkedin page.
A former Texas resident and a George Washington University alum, Murray was fond of traveling, running and other outdoor pursuits. On several occasions she posted on Facebook and Twitter about her desire to move to Seattle, the home of a man she was often photographed with.
Murray’s YouTube account includes a video of her bungee jumping on her 30th birthday. It also includes a video apparently taken inside the Bethesda Lululemon store and uploaded on the day she was killed.
Photo via Facebook
What Diener was not was a likely crime victim. After all, he lived within the safe confines of Lyon Village and, if worse came to worse, he was one of the fastest runners of all his sporty friends.
Nonetheless, early in the morning on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009, Diener was beaten and stabbed to death near the intersection of 13th and Irving Streets in Arlington. The shocking crime has remained Arlington’s only unsolved murder since 2006.
Last night, about two dozen friends of Diener showed up at the intersection for a candlelight vigil. Many of those in attendance said they counted Carl as a close friend, speaking to his instantly likable, outgoing personality.
“He was a guy who loved his friends and enjoyed life,” said Ed Hall, who knew Diener through his gym (Carl was a constant fixture at Arlington Sport & Health Club). “A lot of times when you hear about a murder on TV, people always say, ‘Oh he was a nice person.’ Carl really was.”
Diener, 57, lived alone in an apartment he first moved into 20 years prior. He had recently retired from a government job, and was on his way to his other job — opening Arlington Sport & Health in the pre-dawn hours — when he was attacked. Police say it was a random act of violence.
“He was a random victim, there’s no doubt,” said Det. Rosa Ortiz, the lead investigator in the case.
Friends say there must have been multiple assailants to overpower a man as in-shape as Diener.
“It was probably more than one, because Carl was a big guy,” said Michael Byrnes, who said he had played racquetball with Diener four time per week for the last 30 years. “It was a senseless, brutal act… in what we consider a safe neighborhood.”
Hall said Arlington’s relatively low homicide rate — there were two murders last year, and only one so far this year — is little consolation.
“They talk about, ‘Oh there were only two murders in Arlington County last year,” said Hall, his voice cracking with emotion. “Well, when it’s your friend, two is too many.”
The vigil is being organized in conjunction with a drive by police to gather more tips in the case. Police are planning on distributing fliers Wednesday night in the area of 13th and Irving Streets in Clarendon, where Diener was found beaten and stabbed early in the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009.
Diener, a 57-year-old retired government employee, was on his way to work at the Arlington Sport & Health Club at the time of his death. A $25,000 reward is offered for information that helps to solve the case.
“We are hoping that a candlelight vigil will remind the community of the events one year ago… and maybe someone will remember seeing or hearing something that will turn out to be helpful,” wrote Patti Diener Lough, Carl’s sister. “The more people there on Wednesday, the more attention this will get in the media, too. This can only help.”
Diener Lough says she expects several of Carl’s cousins and many of his friends to attend the vigil, which will start around 7:30.
Police in Fairfax County tell the Washington Post that a man was murdered over the weekend because of his advocacy of speed humps. Police say that Stephen Carr and David Patton had argued before about Carr’s campaign to build a speed hump on the street in front of his Burke home. Then, on Sunday, investigators say an enraged Patton tied up Carr and Carr’s girlfriend, then shot him in the head.
Of course, such extreme acts of violence over neighborhood disagreements are rare. But in speed hump-filled Arlington, it’s easy to be left with the unsettling feeling that such an act of madness is not completely outside the realm of possibility.
Over the past few years, a civil war of sorts has been waged over the mounds of asphalt that force drivers to slow down lest they damage their vehicles. A 2006 article described one such situation in North Arlington as a “pitched battle” and “class warfare at its worst.” A 2008 article, also about Arlington, called speed humps “the ultimate suburban battleground,” pitting “neighbor against neighbor and, more often, resident against motorist.”
So we ask: What’s the angriest you or someone you know has gotten over speed humps? (Or other “traffic calming” measures.)