Two Silver Spring men charged with murder of Germantown resident

  • Published in Local

policecar1 300x200 1Police arrested and charged two Silver Spring men with the murder of 18-year-old Germantown resident Andrew Turner, who was killed at his home in December.

Police charged both Christopher Arthur Breeden Jr., 23, and Kairee Deyonte Dorsey, 27, with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for the Dec. 16 killing of Turner.

“We're working with police with this case, and we're going to go forward in this case to prosecute those individuals,” said Ramon Korionoff, public affairs director for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to police charging documents, Breeden and Dorsey traveled to Turner’s house in Germantown to buy marijuana from Turner, but shot and killed Turner instead and fled the scene, according to witnesses.


MS 13 gang member sentenced in killing

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — A Montgomery County judge sentenced MS-13 gang member Juan Gutierrez-Vazquez, age 17, to 40 years in prison Feb. 8 for his role in a June 2016 murder that took place in a Gaithersburg park.

“40 years behind bars is a long time for him to think about the crime he has committed but not nearly as long as a lifetime of sorrow that Berta, the mom of Cristian Villagran-Morales has to think about the loss of her son,” said Ramon Korionoff, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney.


Parents of slain pregnant woman fight to change law

  • Published in State

Wallen Family 2aLaura Wallen's family with Sen. Justin Ready and Del. Trent Kittleman in Annapolis. PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIANWhen the father of a slain Olney woman found out the man accused of killing his pregnant daughter would only be charged with one count of murder, instead of two, he said he was shocked.

“It wasn’t going to count,” Mark Wallen said of his daughter Laura’s unborn child’s death. “Justice was not going to be done for my grandson. The law now says the life of my grandson doesn’t even exist.”

Under current state law, charges of murder or manslaughter for an unborn child can only be brought against a person if a fetus is considered “viable” outside of the mother’s womb. 

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy charged Laura Wallen’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Tyler Tessier, 33, of Damascus, with one count of murder last October. Wallen was 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her death, according to the state’s chief medical examiner who conducted an autopsy. She was having a boy, whom she planned to name “Reid.”


Police find man murdered in his home in Germantown

  • Published in Crime

Montgomery County Police, responding to a report of a suspicious situation, found Maurice Cortez Mercer, 30, dead from a gunshot wound in his home in the 12500 block of Cross Ridge Way in Germantown on Jan. 3. Police did not reveal who contacted authorities.

Maryland judiciary case records indicate Mercer had an extensive criminal history. He has pleaded guilty to distribution of a controlled dangerous substance/conspiracy, possession of marijuana, malicious destruction of property and illegal gaming.

According to online records, Mercer also had a post office box registered in Olney.

Police are thus far unable to confirm whether a possible motive for Mercer's killing was related to his criminal history.

“At this point in Mercer’s [case], we’re unable to confirm motive,” Starks said. “Investigators are looking at it.”


Police investigate Christmas Eve murder

  • Published in Crime

Montgomery County Police are still investigating the homicide of 18-year-old Jose Herrera, who was murdered in Silver Spring on Christmas Eve.

On Dec. 24, police responded to calls about an assault and sounds of gunshots at the 1000 block of Quebec Terrace in Silver Spring. When they arrived, police found Herrera dead from multiple gunshot wounds.


Police ease Brookeville residents concerns after body found in shallow grave

  • Published in Local

4th District Montgomery County Police Commander M. R. Yamada meets with concerned Brookeville residents after skeletal remains were found Nov. 12 20174th District Montgomery County Police Commander M. R. Yamada meets with concerned Brookeville residents after skeletal remains were found Nov. 12 2017  Photo by Glynis KazanjianBROOKEVILLE — Local residents needn’t be concerned about any imminent threats to their safety despite the discovery of human remains in a shallow grave last week, the Montgomery County Police 4th District commander said on Monday evening, Nov. 20, to approximately 40 people at a community meeting held at the Salem United Methodist Church.

"There is no direct threat to our community that I'm aware of," Captain M.R. Yamada said, while speaking to Brookeville residents who attended the meeting.

The remains were discovered on Sunday, Nov. 12 by a local resident while walking his dog in a wooded area behind the church. Police said the man alerted them to the human skeletal remains – which police discovered in a shallow grave – after deciding to investigate why his dog kept going off into the woods from the path.

The remains are now under examination by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, but the race or gender of the remains is still undetermined, as cause, manner and time of death.


Suspect convicted in murder of Gaithersburg teen

  • Published in Local

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.


Rockville man charged with murder of his married girlfriend

  • Published in Local

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." 


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.


Two arrested in possible gang-related murder

  • Published in Local

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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