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This Week in Potomac

Three Plead Guilty in Murder

Three Gaithersburg men, Carlos Aguilar, 23, Raul Giovanni Medina, 20 and Jose Rivas, 22, have pleaded guilty for the second-degree murder of Samantha Benavides, 19 of Gaithersburg. Benavides body was found in the C&O Canal at Violette’s Lock in Potomac.

On Dec. 4, the three men, along with Benavides and two other men drank some beer at a park in Gaithersburg, according to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, which gave the following account of the crime: The six of them then drove to Violette’s Lock on the C & O Canal.

After arriving Medina sent the two other men back to the car while he, Aguilar and Rivas walked on the towpath with the victim.

The three men beat her and dropped a large rock onto the back of her head before throwing her into the canal.

The victim’s body was discovered on Dec. 13 by a man walking along the canal with his three dogs.

Sentencing for Medina is scheduled for Oct. 21. Sentencing for Aguilar and Rivas is set for Nov. 4. Each faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys Jeffrey Wennar and John McLane.

Commercial Burglary

* Between 9:15 p.m. on July 23 and 6:55 a.m. on July 24, suspects pried the lock on the rear door of Tally Ho Restaurant on 9923 Falls Rd and took coins.

* Between July 30 and 31, the Texas Bar-B-Q Factory in Montgomery Mall was burglarized. The suspect jumped over the counter and took cash.

Residential Burglary

* Between 3 and 7:30 a.m. on July 24, a house on the 9900 block of Woodford Rd. in Potomac was broken into. Suspects opened the garage door and took golf equipment.

* Between 3 p.m. on July 18 and 10 p.m. on July 20, a house on the 9000 block of Congressional Parkway in Potomac was broken into. Suspects entered the garage door and took a camera, power drill, pressure washers, and CDs.

Principals Named

The Montgomery County Board of Education appointed Billie-Jean Bensen as new principal of Herbert Hoover Middle School, and Dr. Michael J. Doran as principal of Thomas Wootton High School on Tuesday, July 29. Bensen was previously an assistant principal at Earle B. Wood Middle School in Rockville, while Doran was principal of Thomas Pyle Middle School in Bethesda.

Clarification

Due to an editing error, a story about clothing donations mistakenly named an organization not involved in the effort. Community Ministry of Montgomery County is collecting clothing for the Interfaith Clothing Center. A box for donations is located outside the Potomac Community Center. See www.communityministrymc.org/IFCab

Conservancy Seeks Volunteers

The Potomac Conservancy is seeking volunteers for its Lockhouse 8 Restoration workday on August 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Volunteers will help to install the new cellar floor, replace damaged floor boards on the second story, and resurface muddy trails leading to the Lockhouse.

The Conservancy and the National Park Service are working together to restore Lockhouse 8 into an educational and interpretive center. To learn more about this project or make a donation, visit www.lockhouse.org

The Potomac Conservancy also continues to recruit volunteer “lockkeepers” to assist as docents at its Lockhouse 8 Learning Center. Lockkeepers will staff the Lockhouse on weekends and evenings, distribute literature, answer questions, and assist with other tasks. Volunteers are expected to commit to the position for at least six months. Training will be provided. Contact Matt Berres at berres@potomac.org or 703-276-2777 ext. 203 for more information.

Visit www.potomac.org.

Morella’s New Post

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the nomination of former Maryland Congresswoman Connie Morella as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), headquartered in Paris.

The OECD was established forty years ago. It presently has thirty members and working relations with dozens of countries around the world. The organization addresses issues underlying economic development, both within member countries and on a global basis.