Prosecutors consider additional charges in Wallen murder

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wallenLaura Elizabeth Wallen   FILE PHOTO  

Prosecutors in the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office are determining whether a 33-year-old Damascus man charged with killing his girlfriend Labor Day weekend can also be charged with killing the woman’s unborn child.

Olney resident Laura Elizabeth Wallen, 31, was four months pregnant when she was killed, family members said.   The Damascus man accused of her murder, Tyler Tessier, 33, is believed to be the father.

Montgomery County Police charged Tessier Sept. 13 with the first-degree murder of Wallen. If Tessier is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, the Montgomery County state prosecutor's office has not ruled out requesting a sentence that would allow for consideration of parole. 

"We have not made that decision yet," Korionoff said. 


Pedestrian killed after police car collision

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Policelights 1A 74-year-old Kensington man was killed Wednesday evening after being struck by an unmarked police cruiser as he attempted to cross Veirs Mill Road on a Sunra motor scooter.

Officer Robert Farmer, an eight-year veteran of Montgomery County Police, was on duty at the time of the collision. He has been placed on mandatory administrative leave while an investigation is conducted. 

The victim, Loreto Andal Canubas of Dewey Road, was entering the eastbound lanes of Veirs Mill Road at approximately 9:45 p.m. after crossing westbound Veirs Mill Road, coming from Monterrey Drive. 


County upgrades 911 system after reported problems

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After being one of the first people on the scene following an accident on Clopper Road, Council member Craig Rice (D-2) said the first thing then he and family did was to call 911.

But instead of quickly relaying the details of the accident to an operator, Rice’s wife who made the call was put on hold. For seven minutes, Rice said he and his families assisted the victims and directed traffic around the accident.

“It’s not always as though they get right through,” Rice said of calling 911. “But then the response time was quite long.”


Arrests made in connection with murder of Northwest High School students

  • Published in Crime

MCPD arrestMontgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger announces three arrests made in connection with the murder of two Northwest High School students. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  GAITHERSBURG – Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger announced Saturday night police arrested three people in connection with the murder of students Shadi Adi Najjar, 17, and Artem S. Ziberov, 18, from Northwest High School.

Police arrested Edgar Garcia-Gaona, 24, Roger Garcia, 19, and Jose Ovilson Canales-Yanez, 25. Each was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.


Police investigating death of small child in Montgomery Village

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Medical personnel at a hospital pronounced a 22-month-old boy dead after a passerby found him in Lake Whetstone at Montgomery Village Friday, Montgomery County Police said.

Spokesperson Capt. Paul Starks said that staff from Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined Sunday that the cause of death was accidental drowning.

Starks said that the investigation is ongoing.

According to police, 22-month-old Malik Bojang of the 18700 block of Pier Point Place in Gaithersburg was at a playground interacting with other children under the supervision of a family member when he wandered off. A family member called police around 7:30 p.m. and reported the child was missing.

“What the caller told police is that they could not find the boy. It had just been a few minutes. (The caller) was looking for him,” Starks said.


MCPS employee charged in sex crime

  • Published in Crime

Security assistant accused of having sex with 14-year-old female student


Police charged a public school security assistant with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student following a short investigation this week.

The assistant, charged with sexual abuse of a minor, was released from jail after he posted bond Monday night, County State’s Attorney spokesperson Ramon Korionoff said.

Kimberly Hayden Williams, principal of Col. E. Brook Lee Middle School – where the accused man worked – said she was disturbed by the charges.

“These charges are troubling and completely unacceptable, particularly given that security staff are placed in schools to keep students safe,” she said. “The charges represent a violation of the core values of our school and school system.”


County leaders urge vigilance to help quell hate crimes

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Representatives from the County police, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice and the Anti-Defamation League urged everyone who attended a Hate Crime Prevention Forum on Monday to take pictures and call police every time they see any incidents of hate, no matter how minor the incident.

“Everyone’s got a phone. Record it,” urged County Police Chief Tom Manger. Send a message that hate is not welcome here, he said.

“We need help from citizens so we can get in front of it before it becomes a crime,” added Gordon Johnson, special agent from the Baltimore office of the FBI.


Opioid abuse on the upswing in Montgomery

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Opioid abuse in Montgomery County is “an equal opportunity” menace that has hit “businessmen, professionals, schoolteachers, nurses” and so many others, said Alejandra Munoz, the sole case manager for a County program aimed at getting drug users into treatment rather than a jail cell.

“I have middle to upper class [people] and those with low social economic status. I have two grandmothers,” she said of the users she tries to get into the program called STEER, which stands for Stop, Triage, Engage, Educate and Rehabilitate.

Opioid-related overdoses are increasing rapidly here. Last year, there were 154 nonfatal opioid-related overdoses, a whopping 175 percent increase from 2015. During that same period, there were 56 fatal overdoses, a 9 percent increase between 2015 and 2016, according to Cpt. Paul Liquorie, director of the County Police Department’s Special Investigations Division.

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