D.C. man accused of training dogs to fight pleads to animal cruelty


Porter, a pit bull mix, suffered two broken legs, a displaced jaw and missing several teeth, after he was seen taken into a wooded area in Southeast Washington. (Photo courtesy Washington Human Society)

A District of Columbia man accused of training dogs to fight pleaded guilty Friday to animal cruelty and simple assault, authorities said.

Thirty-five-year-old Charles Palmer was arrested in December after a 20-month investigation in which police said he killed three dogs and dumped their bodies while training them to fight.

Charles Palmer

Charles Palmer

Two dogs that had been thrown away had been rescued, including one pit bull type named Porter, who was found with significant wounds, two broken femurs, a displaced jaw and missing several teeth. Porter survived.

Palmer faces up to 10 years in prison, according to D.C. officials.

“To see Porter’s story come full circle brings me immense satisfaction,” said Lisa LaFontaine, president of the Washington Humane Society. “It was one of the most horrific abuse cases my team had ever experienced, and it was gratifying to see Palmer stand up and claim responsibility for his actions.”

The investigation began in April 2012 after witnesses told police they saw Palmer beat a pit-bull type dog, slam the animal to the ground, take him into the woods, and exit the woods with the leash. Officers discovered the dog, now named Porter, two days later.

Another dog, Roxy, was rescued by WHS officers in June at Palmer’s home. Roxy had difficulty standing, and was found to have a broken front leg, broken rear femoral head, a broken toe, and two lacerations on her head.

Man, woman found dead with children ruled a double-homicide

Two dead

The deaths of a man and woman found inside a Southeast Washington apartment with two young children Thursday have been ruled a double-homicide.

D.C. police have identified the victims as 21-year-old Ervin Phillip Ingraham and 21-year-old Ronnetta Hurley-Brown, both of Southeast Washington.

Police continue to search for their killer or killers.

Their bodies were found shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday, after a woman called police to report some sore of trouble inside an apartment in the 1600 block of 17th Street SE, police said.

Police found two children inside the Anacostia-area apartment at the time, police said. The children were not injured.

Ingraham and Hurley-Brown both were suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

The killings are the 13th and 14th homicides in the District this year compared to three at this same time in 2013, according to the D.C. police department.

Crime History, Jan. 31, 2001: Two men killed in fight with Ravens’ Ray Lewis at Super Bowl celebration

Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis

On this day, Jan. 31, in 2000, following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta, two people were fatally stabbed in a fight between Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis and his friends and another group of people.

Lewis, then 24, was one of three men charged with murder in the deaths of Jacinth Baker, 21, and Richard Lollar, 24.

The charge against Lewis was dropped during the trial, with Lewis pleading guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice in exchange for testifying against his co-defendants. But the other men were acquitted.

The NFL fined him $250,000 before the start of the 2000 season. Lewis then led the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl XXXV title Jan. 28, 2001.

Lewis retired last year after leading the Ravens to the Super Bowl XLVII. He is now a NFL football analysis for ESPN.

— Scott McCabe

D.C. police officer arrested for stealing from evidence locker room

A D.C. police officer has been charged with stealing from the evidence locker room where the worked, police said.

7) D.C. Police Runaway Girls Scandal -- D.C. police officer Marc Washington was arrested on child pornography charges and veteran Officer Linwood Barnhill Jr. was arrested on accusations of running a prostitution ring after a missing girl was found at his D.C. apartment. Police are investigating whether the cases were connected. Washington died Dec. 11, 2013 after he was found in the waters of Hains Point. Rodney Williams, a 24-year veteran on the force, was arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree theft.

Williams was arrested following a tip from an MPD employee. Police have not said what he’s accused of stealing. He’s expected to appear in D.C. Superior Court later today.

Williams is one of about 110 officers who have been arrested in the last five years, including for murder and child porn, according to police.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier has argued that number of officers arrested is normal for a police department the size of the Metropolitan Police Department, with about 3,800 sworn officers.

That’s unclear. According to a 2012 report in The Washington Examiner, Philadelphia, a city with a police force nearly twice the size of Washington’s, with 6,600 sworn officers, had six officers arrested in the first half of 2012, compared to 19 during the same period as D.C.

Eighteen officers were arrested in Philadelphia in 2011, compared with 29 in D.C.

Lanier made the point last month while defending her department after one officer was arrested for taking nude photos of a 15-year-old runaway girl and another was charged with running a prostitution ring after a missing girl was found at his D.C. apartment.

Naked man sliced with box cutter after found with another man’s girlfriend

A man was nearly killed with a box cutter after he was found naked in an empty office with another man’s girlfriend, Maryland police said

The boyfriend fled the Annapolis office building but was captured nearby, hiding in the women’s restroom at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant.

James Kerry Bennett

James Kerry Bennett

At about 4 p.m. Thursday, Anne Arundel County Police officers responded to a report of a man with a head injury who was naked from the waist down in a building at 116 Defense Highway.

The man was bleeding profusely.

Police learned that the man had been with a woman on the 5th floor of an office of the Conte Lubrano Office Building at 130 Lubrano Drive.

The female’s boyfriend encountered the two, and he sliced the victim’s face with a box cutter and then fled the building.

A suspect description was broadcasted and arriving officers located him in the women’s bathroom of the Wendy’s fast food establishment on Defense Highway and Housley Road.The suspect was taken into custody without incident.

A search of the area around the Wendy’s revealed a yellow box cutter between the hedges and a brick wall.  The victim had non life threatening injuries, but required a significant number of sutures to close his wounds.

James Kerry Bennett, 43, was arrested and charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

The Crime Scene: Navy Yard shooter fooled doctors; school official charged with child porn; and mom left kids in cold car for makeover

We round up the top crime stories because you need to get out of Dodge.

Navy Yard shooter fooled mental health doctors before rampage (Associated Press)

Two found dead inside Southeast Washington home (D.C. Crime Stories)

Police: Mom left kid inside cold car to get makeup done (WUSA9)

D.C. fire lieutenant relieved of duties after death outside fire station (FOX5)

10 pounds of marijuana delivered to D.C. woman’s home (NBC4)

12 injured in Metro bus accident in Washington (CBSDC)

Officer shoots, kills son as son fatally stabs own mother (D.C. Crime Stories)

Michael Deegan is accused of trying to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Michael Deegan is accused of trying to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Fairfax County police charge school administrator with sex solicitation of minor (WHAG)

Police: 13-year-old boy stabs youth in Northeast Washington (Washington Post)

• Video: USPS worker  caught on camera throwing package (NBC4)

Black Friday lingerie store assault suspects tracked down, police say (D.C. Crime Stories)

D.C. police rescue celebrity snowy owl after collision with Metro bus (D.C. Crime Stories)

Two found dead inside Southeast Washington home

Two deadA man and woman were found dead inside their apartment in Southeast Washington, according to D.C. Police.

A woman found the two inside a residence at about 3:45 p.m., in the 1600 block of 17th Street SE, police said. Two children were inside the Anacostia-area apartment at the time, police said. The children were not injured.

The investigation is ongoing, and police were waiting to obtain a warrant to search the home.

Chief Cathy Lanier responded to the crime scene and told NBC4 that there were signs of trauma on at least one of the victims. It’s unclear if the incident was a murder-suicide, she said.

“We really don’t know what the nature of their injuries is,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. “We don’t know what their relationship is.”

Before Thursday’s deaths, there were 12 homicides in the District this year compared to three at this same time in 2013, according to the D.C. police department.

Black Friday lingerie store assault suspects tracked down, police say

Two Prince George’s County sisters were arrested Thursday in connection to the widely-viewed assault at a lingerie store on Black Friday.

Antonia Janee Ash

Antonia Janee Ash

Antonia Janee Ash, 18, and Ebonie Ta Shawn Brooks, 31, were both charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace in the Nov. 29, 2013 incident.

Police said the victim, 17-year-old girl shopping at a packed Victoria’s Secret at Annapolis mall, was tossed to the ground, jumped on and punched in her head by two women. The attack was captured on a cell phone camera and the resulting video received more than 130,000 views on YouTube.

Detectives reviewed surveillance video cameras and were able to track the suspects to a store that they had been in. Detectives subpoenaed store sales records and tracked down Ash and Brooks at their home in the 8400 block of Poplar Hill Drive in Clinton.

Ebonie Ta Shawn Brooks

Ebonie Ta Shawn Brooks

“I appreciate the tenacity of the detectives investigating this crime,” said Anne Arundel Police Chief Kevin Davis. “No one should expect or accept this type of behavior at a shopping mall any time of year, especially during the holiday season.”

D.C. police rescue celebrity snowy owl after collision with Metro bus

Veterinary technician Peter Flowers holds the snowy owl for an exam after the bird was struck by a Metro bus. (Photo Credit: Jen Zoon, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Veterinary technician Peter Flowers holds the snowy owl for an exam after the bird was struck by a Metro bus. (Photo Credit: Jen Zoon, Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

A snowy owl that captivated D.C.-area residents earlier this month was struck by a Metro bus and taken to the zoo to be treated, officials said.

D.C. police found the owl in the area of 15th and I Street in Northwest Washington early Thursday, and took the bird to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for treatment, officials said.

The bird appeared dazed and subdued, but was responsive, authorities said. Animal care workers found no obvious physical injuries, but there was blood on the bird and inside the mouth with is consistent with head trauma.

The owl was provided pain medication and fluids,, zoo officials said. The animal will be released back into the wild once it appears well.

The bird delighted commuters and tourists after a heavy snow last week, hanging around 15th and K Streets, and visiting the rooftop of the Washington Post for its closeup.

Officer shoots, kills son as son fatally stabs own mother

Officer shooting

An off-duty Montgomery County police officer shot and killed his son as the son fatally stabbed his own mother inside their Gaithersburg home, police said.

It happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday in the family’s home in the 7400 block of Lake Katrine Terrace.

Authorities said the 25-year-old son got into an argument with his mother, pulled out a knife and stabbed her. As the son attacked his 53-year-old mother on a second floor bedroom, the veteran office shot and killed his son with a handgun, police said. He then called 911.

The mother was taken to a hospital where she died. Police Sgt. James Stirkens did not suffer any injuries.

Stirkens, 57, a patrol officer in the Silver Spring district, has been placed on routine administrative leave.

The wife was Denise Stirkens, 53, and the son was identified as Christoopher Stirkens.

A neighbor told a WNEW reporter that the family includes the husband, wife and two girls and a boy.

“These are the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. They’re very talkative, very supportive of this neighborhood,” Billy Waclchalk told the CBS news station. “We’re devastated by it.”

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives in the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.