The Baltimore Sun

Final defense witness testifies in bus-fight trial

A middle-schooler riding on a city bus when a fight broke out between two adult passengers and her classmates testified yesterday that the teens snickered about one of the passengers' bruised left eye, which sparked the fight. Unique Curtis said that Troy Ennis, 30, ordered his girlfriend, Sarah Kreager, to spit on Nakita McDaniels, 15, and used a racial slur. Curtis said Nakita replied, "Ain't nobody going to spit on me," and then Kreager, 26, "banged Nakita."

Curtis was the last witness for the defense in Baltimore Juvenile Court, where five of the nine students accused of assaulting Kreager and Ennis are awaiting adjudication. Closing arguments are expected tomorrow.

Curtis placed all but one of the accused students in the back of the bus, where driver Danny Williams said the fight erupted. She denied seeing a fight continue off the bus, despite walking out of the front door immediately behind McDaniels, whom Kreager accused of continuing to participate in the fight. Curtis also contradicted a defense witness, passenger Floyd Gross, who said yesterday that after Kreager left the bus, McDaniels leaned over him, opened a window and yelled at Kreager. Curtis said McDaniels got off the bus without opening a window or yelling.

Melissa Harris

Anne Arundel

: Annapolis

Judge orders an end to Market House rent

An Anne Arundel County judge yesterday ordered Annapolis to stop collecting rent from the company that runs its troubled Market House in the heart of downtown.

Circuit Judge Pamela North also required the city to start processing requests for certificates of occupancy from three vendors seeking to move into the building, without making the applicants provide information on how much heat their businesses would produce.

The ruling is a minor victory for MarketHouse Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Site Realty Group, which also runs Eastern Market in Washington. It has sued the city, which owns the historic building, for $6 million amid allegations that its failure to install an adequate air-conditioning and heating system has driven away customers and driven several vendors out of business.

The city has countered that it had previously worked out an agreement with MarketHouse Ventures to install a better HVAC system this year. It has not yet done so, and North wrote, "The city may well be in default of the lease."

Market House had sought temporary relief from the city in hopes of filling the vacant stalls, without having to wait for the breach-of-contract case going to court. The prospective tenants are Sophisticated Sweets, Annapolis Deli and Grocery and Dockside Farmers Market.

Medical center

Physician, son die in Va. plane crash

A cardiologist who worked throughout the Washington region, including at Anne Arundel Medical Center, and his 15-year-old son died when their small plane crashed just after takeoff Friday in Front Royal, Va.

Dr. Hector K. Collison, 54, was heading out on a Cirrus SR22 with his son, Sean, to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport about midnight, authorities said yesterday. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Collison graduated from Howard University in 1976 and joined the staff at Anne Arundel Medical Center in 1986. Officials at the Annapolis hospital said they learned of his death Saturday, and a moment of silence was held for the Collison family at the center's annual gala that night in Baltimore.

A Potomac resident, Collison also worked at hospitals in Washington, Silver Spring, Lanham, Laurel, Cheverly and Rockville, according to the Maryland Board of Physicians Web site.

At Annapolis, Collison was one of four cardiologists who performed emergency angioplasties to widen clogged blood vessels in the heart.

Dr. Paul T. Elder, president of the Anne Arundel medical staff, said Collison was petitioning to allow the medical center to become the state's sixth hospital to perform open-heart surgeries.

Phillip McGowan


: West side

2 sisters charged in abuse of mother

Two sisters who police said were caring for their mother in West Baltimore have been charged with multiple counts of vulnerable-adult abuse, assault and reckless endangerment after authorities said they found the woman suffering from severe injuries.

Prosecutors said the mother, April Ford, 40, died Friday, but that murder charges have not been filed in the case, which remains under investigation. A cause of death is pending.

Paramedics discovered Ford on Feb. 29 after being called to her house in the 400 block of W. Franklin St. In charging documents, police described a horrific scene. Police said Ford, a parapalegic, had suffered bed sores, gangrene on open and untreated wounds, infestations of maggots and lice and that she was lying on bed sheets that been unchanged for years. The suspects have been identified as Tia Lashawn Sewell, 25, of the 5100 block of Darien Road, and Sharon Jones, 24, of the 400 block of W. Franklin St.

Because of incorrect information in a police charging document, an article in yesterday's Maryland section provided an incorrect name of a woman who died after authorities said she was neglected by family members. The victim's name is April Montford.THE SUN REGRETS THE ERROR
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