Three men charged in strangulationPolice said the...


Three men charged in strangulation

Police said the continued use of a dead woman's bank machine card led to three men being charged with first-degree ** murder. Karin Lyn Thomas, 23, was found strangled Jan. 19 in Silver Spring.

Over the weekend, Montgomery County police arrested and charged Derrick Warren, 24, of Oxon Hill; Mark L. Carter, 21, of Landover Hills; and Michael Warren, 22, who was listed as having no permanent address. All three were being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center without bond.

The woman's body was discovered on the grounds of Montgomery Knolls Elementary School by people walking their dogs. It was identified by fingerprints.

Police said the woman's car had been stolen and her apartment burglarized. Her car was found burning Thursday in an Arlington, Va., parking lot. But repeated use of the woman's bank card was the key to an investigation that resulted in the murder charges, police said.

Suspect in slaying arrested in W.Va.


A suspect in the slaying of a Frederick County man -- a shooting witnessed by the victim's young daughter -- was arrested yesterday in West Virginia, authorities reported.

Vernon Henry Bittinger, 26, of Union Bridge, was charged in a warrant with robbery and murder in the death Saturday morning of Donald Ray Gravley, 32, in his trailer park home east of Libertytown.

Authorities said the victim's 7-year-old daughter's mouth was taped and she was tied with string and left lying under her bedcovers. The mother was at work, and Mr. Gravley's body was found by a family friend, Maryland State Police said.

tTC Police said the shooting followed an argument, and the suspect -- a friend of the victim -- fled with a bag of cash.

Mr. Bittinger was arrested at 5:30 a.m. by authorities in Charles Town, W.Va., after his pickup truck was found parked at a local inn where he was staying.

This house is yours if you can move it


Martha and Lewis Gilbert, of the tiny Carroll County community of Smallwood, are giving a house away. But there's a catch: You have to take it with you.

The couple would like to build a new home on the half-acre lot where the bungalow stands. They live next door. They considered demolition but decided to give it to someone who might be able to use it.

Mrs. Gilbert pointed out that the 50-year-old structure might require some renovation or fixing. The wood-frame structure covers 32 feet by 24 1/2 feet, back porch included.

"Structurally, it's sound," said Mr. Gilbert, a retired barber, adding: "Anything above the basement is theirs. They can dismantle it and rebuild it."

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