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Suspect convicted in murder of Gaithersburg teen

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A jury has convicted a suspect in connection with the assault and murder of a local teenage girl whom police found dead in February.

The jury convicted Wilmer Sanchez-Serrano, age 21, in connection with the assault and murder of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas, confirmed Chief Deputy Clerk Gerarda Culipher of Fairfax County Court.

Reyes Rivas attended Watkins Mill High School before her mother reported her missing in December.

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Rockville man charged with murder of his married girlfriend

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Dania Suyapa Mendez De Guerra Missing Person WheatonDania Suyapa Mendez de Guerra was found dead Friday near her place of work at a KFC in Wheaton. A co-worker has been arrested and charged in her apparent homicide. COURTESY PHOTO  

A local man is in jail without bail after authorities charged him with killing a married co-worker.

Prosecutors Saturday charged Elmer Marilan Campos-Martinez, 47, of Rockville with second degree murder. He apparently had an ongoing affair Dania Suyapa Mendez de Guerra, 21, of Wheaton. Campos-Martinez worked with de Guerra at the KFC restaurant on University Boulevard in Wheaton.

On Monday, a Rockville District Court judge denied bail to Campos-Martinez after learning a final removal order has been issued against him by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.

"The defendant presents a clear danger to the community and is a flight risk," Judge Margaret Schweitzer said in Rockville District Court Monday. "He has nothing to lose. It is appropriate for him to be held without bail." 

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Five arrested for armed robbery may be connected to string of MoCo crimes

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Mugshots of suspects arrested in Cash Depot robberyPolice arrested (left to right) Yeruin J. Romero-Rivera, 21, Juan R. Ramirez-Delgado, 34, Miguel A. Ayala-Rivera, 23, Marcio Roney Avila-Castro, 21, and (not pictured) Edwin Geovanny Zelaya-Ramirez, 17, on charges of armed robbery of a Wheaton check-cashing store. A sixth suspect, Juan Carlos Gomez, 37, (far right) was killed fleeing police. COURTESY PHOTOS  

Montgomery County Police arrested five suspects for allegedly robbing a Wheaton check-cashing store at gunpoint while the sixth suspect was killed fleeing police after a pursuit across county lines Friday.

Miguel A. Ayala-Rivera, 23, Marcio Avila-Castro, 21, Edwin Geovanny Zelaya-Ramirez,17, Yeruin J. Romero-Rivera, 21, and Juan R. Ramirez-Delgado, 34, were arrested and charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault and the use of a firearm during the commission of a violent felony, a Nov. 4 police press release stated.

At approximately 12:35 p.m. on Friday, police officers from the 4th District Police Station responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Check Cash Depot store at 11246 Georgia Avenue in Wheaton. 

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Man arrested for secret video surveillance in children's gym

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Suspect may have deep ties to local community, including local PTA and Cub Scouts

Jonathan Oldale MCP courtesy photoJonathan Oldale at the time of his arrest. COURTESY PHOTOA Chevy Chase man arrested in October for conducting nonconsensual visual surveillance in a private place is may have ties to a local elementary school parent-teacher association, according to two PTA newsletters from September 2016.

Police arrested Jonathan Oldale, 54, Oct. 18 concluding a nearly five-month-long investigation, according to an Oct. 27 police press report. Police began investigating Oldale in May after an employee of the Silver Star Gymnastics and Fitness Club reported finding a backpack containing a concealed camera under a "wet floor" sign on the floor of a bathroom. 

Montgomery County Police are hosting a public safety community meeting Wednesday Nov. 1 at 7:15 p.m. at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase to address parents’ concerns surrounding Oldale's arrest. 

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Disclosing the identifying witnesses you say

gavel2It is a common to see in movies or television a dramatic scene where the prosecution suddenly calls to the stand the surprise witness who identifies the defendant as the killer. The Maryland Rules of Criminal Procedure require that prior to trial the prosecution must disclose “all relevant material or information regarding…pretrial identification of the defendant by a State’s witness.” How this rule works in practice was discussed by a divided Maryland Court of Appeals in a case called John W. Green III v. State.

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Two arrested in possible gang-related murder

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Jesus Ponce Flores Arrest Photo 300x280

Jesus Ponce Flores, 18, COURTESY PHOTO 

Montgomery County police said they arrested and charged two local males Tuesday regarding the murder of a 20-year-old man, whose body was found in a creek in Silver Spring Sept. 6.

The man, 20-year-old Cristopher Alfredo Funes Guerra, was reported missing Sept. 3.

The Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide by multiple stab wounds, according to an Oct. 18 Montgomery County Police press release.

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Murder suspect won’t face charges for death of victim’s unborn child

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4K5A4219 1Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy holds a press conference with Assistant State’s Attorneys Donna Fenton (left) and Mary Herdman (right) on the indictment of Tyler Tessier in the murder of Laura Wallen. PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIAN  

A grand jury has indicted Tyler Tessier on one count of murder in the homicide of his pregnant girlfriend Laura Wallen, but Tessier cannot be charged for the death of her unborn child due to Maryland law, according to State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

After finding the body of Laura Wallen in a shallow grave in Damascus, police arrested Tyler Tessier later that same day on Sept. 13 on charges of first-degree murder, altering physical evidence and making a false statement to an officer. While a grand jury indicted Tessier on one count of murder last Thursday, he will not be charged with the death of Wallen’s unborn child due to state law, McCarthy said at a press conference in Rockville on Friday.

“Her child was autopsied,” McCarthy said. “A medical team established at the time of Ms. Wallen’s murder the child was 14 weeks old. Based on medical testimony, the child was not viable independent of Ms. Wallen. Based on those medical findings, and as a matter of law in Maryland, as a result the defendant is not chargeable with a second count of murder related to the child.”

McCarthy confirmed Wallen died from a gunshot wound to the back of her head. Wallen, a 31-year-old high school teacher from Olney, was four months pregnant at the time of her death, according to online court records.

Tessier, 33, could face a maximum penalty of life in prison, but prosecutors will consider the unborn child and could ask the judge to consider life in prison without the possibility of parole, McCarthy said.

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Two Arrested

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Local educators charged with child sex abuse in separate cases

Cory Boatman Roy SimmonsCory Boatman (left) and Roy Simmons (right). COURTESY PHOTOS  Police arrested two Montgomery County Public Schools staff members last week in separate incidents involving child sex abuse charges. 

Police charged Cory Boatman, 27, a teacher and an assistant football coach at Montgomery Blair High School, Oct. 6 with sexual abuse of a minor for an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student.

According to police, Boatman began sending the student "suggestive text messages" in early August. In late August, Boatman allegedly picked up the victim at her residence and drove her to his address where they engaged in sexual intercourse. Boatman was placed on administrative leave Monday, Sept. 25. A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Roy A. Simmons III, a 41-year-old afterschool program facilitator for Kids Adventure, was charged Oct. 3 with one count of second-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree sex offense involving a 10-year-old girl at Carderock Springs Elementary School in Bethesda, according to a police report.

The alleged offense occurred in November 2016 when Simmons, a group leader, inappropriately touched the child when she was separated from students. Police said Simmons admitted to the inappropriate contact during a police interview. At the time of the incident, Simmons was also employed as a temporary para-educator at Carderock, a job he had held since the fall of 2015, according to MCPS.

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Slain high school teacher's boyfriend indicted with murder

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tessier Montgomery County PDTyler Tessier. FILE PHOTO On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Tyler Tessier, 33, on one count of murder in the homicide of his pregnant girlfriend Laura Wallen,

Police arrested Tessier Sept. 13 on charges of first-degree murder, altering physical evidence and making a false statement to an officer. A court hearing is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 20 at 8:30 a.m. in the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville.

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Metro Assaults Up

Broken Promises - Bad Dreams, A Metro Investigation (Fifth in a series)

WMATA’s overall crime down but concerns remain on Metrorail 

Metro entranceIn the last six years, the MTPD (Metro Transit Police Department) has battled several lawsuits from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) relating to their use of excessive force. At the same time, although overall crime has gone down at Metro stations, the number of assaults has gone up. Two notable suits involved young teens. According to the complaint filed by the ACLU in D.C. district court, in 2013 a 14-year-old girl referred to as A.K., was falsely arrested by MTPD officer Leo Taylor for a possible curfew violation. According to the ACLU the curfew would not have applied to A.K. since the train she was on was involved in interstate travel. Taylor pulled A.K. away from her older sister, punched her in the face, handcuffed her and then dragged her out of the station.

According to the complaint, Taylor took A.K. to a street-level bus shelter. Another officer told A.K. she could stand up, when she did Officer Taylor tackled her to the ground and smashed A.K’s head against the side of a bus shelter. When A.K. started to spit blood, Taylor tried to put a surgical mask on her, when A.K. resisted, Taylor hit the 14-year-old in the face several more times.

The teen suffered a severe concussion and had to receive physical therapy due to her injuries.

According to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) spokeswomen Sherri Ly, Taylor still works for Metro. She was unable to provide any specifics about his duty assignments.

“Like every police force in a large metropolitan area, they are dealing with tens of thousands of people every day; they are dealing with crowded conditions. I have some sympathy that they have a very tough job to do, in general, police officers try to do it well sometimes things do not turn out right, more often there are officers who just lose their temper,” said ACLU legal head Art Spitzer.

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