TAX FRAUD-GUILTY PLEA
Virginia husband, wife plead guilty to tax fraud conspiracy
BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal prosecutor says a Virginia couple has pleaded guilty to charges of tax fraud stemming from taxes filed for their Maryland auto body shop. U.S. Attorney for Maryland Erek L. Barron says in a news release that 60-year-old Ercin Kalender of Alexandria, Virginia and his wife, 44-year-old Lizette Kalender, pleaded guilty on Thursday. According to their guilty pleas, between 2015 and 2018, the Kalenders conspired to include false information on tax forms filed with the IRS on behalf of their auto body shop in Capital Heights, Maryland.
Baltimore’s top prosecutor pleads not guilty in federal case
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s top prosecutor has pleaded not guilty to charges that she made false statements on financial documents to withdraw money from her retirement savings and to purchase two Florida vacation homes. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby entered the plea on Friday during a remote hearing for her initial appearance and arraignment in federal court. Defense attorney A. Scott Bolden said Mosby wants a jury trial to start within 60 days. Mosby received national acclaim in 2015 for bringing criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man whose neck was broken in police custody.
Maryland lawmakers disagree over persisting crime problems
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers disagree over how to address intractable crime problems. Senate Democrats outlined a package of legislation Thursday, but Republicans say the party that controls the General Assembly has failed to take swift and decisive action for years. Democrats are proposing a broad range of efforts that include the banning ghost guns. The weapons purchased over the internet don’t have serial numbers and are rising at an alarming rate in Maryland, even in schools. Republicans are supporting Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposals, which include increasing penalties for people who use guns to commit violent crimes.
Marijuana legislation announced by Maryland House leadership
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers have announced legislation that they say will put the state on an equitable path to legalized adult recreational marijuana, if voters approve it in November. House Speaker Adrienne Jones says the bill introduced Thursday would create an implementation plan. The measure sets out to address criminal justice and public health issues, while also building a foundation for social equity in the industry. The bill would allow Marylanders to possess up to 1.5 ounces of recreational cannabis without penalty. Possession over 1.5 ounces of cannabis and up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis would be reduced to a civil offense rather than a misdemeanor.
UBER DRIVER KILLED
Judge tosses lawsuit over Uber driver’s killing by passenger
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A federal judge in Baltimore has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. filed by the family of a rideshare driver who was killed by a passenger in 2019. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake ruled Thursday that Uber didn’t have a duty to conduct background screenings of passengers. The judge also concluded that the harm to Uber driver Beaudouin Tchakounte was not “sufficiently foreseeable” to Uber even if it had known that the passenger who killed him had been convicted of robbery 21 years earlier. The passenger who shot and killed Tchakounte and a second passenger in Prince George’s County, Maryland, later told authorities that he was high on PCP.
Maryland’s Tom Perez picks Shannon Sneed for running mate
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Tom Perez, a former U.S. labor secretary who is running for governor of Maryland, has announced he has chosen former Baltimore City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed to be his running mate. Perez said Thursday that Sneed has worked directly in her community to lift up those in need and expand access to opportunity. Sneed served on the council from 2016 to 2020. Most recently, she served as a regional director for U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen covering the Baltimore region until January. Perez is running in a crowded Democratic primary with 10 candidates. Maryland’s primary is June 28.
Unidentified man killed in head-on crash on Delaware road
LAUREL, Del. (AP) — Delaware State Police say an unidentified man was killed when his car was hit head-on by a tractor-trailer. A news release says a 2017 Nissan Sentra was heading east on Laurel Road at around 11:14 p.m. Friday. A westbound tractor-trailer crossed into the eastbound lane and hit the front of the Nissan. Investigators said the driver of the Nissan wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was being withheld until family members could be notified. The driver of the tractor-trailer wasn’t injured
Fire investigators: 9 displaced after blaze damages 2 homes
MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) — Fire investigators say nine people were displaced after a fire that heavily damaged two homes in Middletown. The Office of the State Fire Marshal says when firefighters responded to reports of a house on fire on Springfield Circle on Wednesday night, they found flames shooting from one house. No injuries were reported, but officials say two homes sustained heavy damage in the blaze and four adults and five children were displaced. The American Red Cross has been asked to provide emergency assistance to those displaced residents. Total damage was estimated at $500,000. State fire investigators are searching for the fire’s origin and cause.
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