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Week in Loudoun

Teen Charged in Gun Theft

<bt>An Ashburn teen-ager was charged Saturday, July 17, for his involvement in the thefts of several firearms this past March, one of the guns would later be used in the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Donald Nicholas Shomaker, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The gun is alleged to have been stolen from a residence in the 21500 block of Shellhorn Road in Ashburn sometime around March 20. The teen-ager, 16, who is not identified because he is charged as a juvenile, is said to have stolen the firearm and more than $200 worth of items from the home.

The gun stolen from that house would later be used in the March 22 shooting death in the basement of a Bruceton Mills Circle home in Ashburn.

The teen also faces charges in a burglary that occurred sometime between March 1-6 in Chantilly. In that case he is accused of entering a shed behind a residence along Route 50 and taking two firearms.

The 16-year-old was being held at the Juvenile Detention Center on three counts of grand larceny of a firearm, three counts of juvenile possession of a firearm, two counts of breaking and entering, and petit larceny.

Ashburn teen Matthew Lathram, 17, was charged as an adult in the death of Shomaker and is expected to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and six other felonies on Aug. 5. Those charges include possession with intent to distribute psychedelic mushrooms and marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of a firearm while in the possession of narcotics and receiving stolen property.

<sh>Three Arrested for DUI

<bt>Three arrests were made Friday night, July 16 after a scheduled DUI checkpoint turned into saturation patrols due to the inclement weather, according to the Sheriff's Office.ÊÊ

Sheriff's Deputies initially began a checkpoint along Route 28 near Nokes Boulevard around 10 p.m., but continuing rain raised safety concerns due to the slick conditions. A decision was made around 12:30 a.m. to use saturation patrols for DUI enforcement. During the checkpoint 300 vehicles passed through, six drivers were further screened and there were no arrests.

Deputies then roamed portions of the county, arresting three motorists for driving under the influence. The deputies drove in the areas of Route 7 in Ashburn and Sterling, and Route 9 in the western portion of the county. All three arrests were made along Route 7 in eastern Loudoun.

Deputies conducting a saturation patrol concentrate DUI enforcement in one geographic area and stop any driver suspected of driving under the influence or for any motor vehicle violation.

<sh>Accident Kills Aldie Man

<bt>A single vehicle accident Saturday morning on Route 50 has taken the life of an Aldie man. According to the Sheriff's Office, shortly after 6 p.m., July 24, James Hyung Hun Jun, 44, was traveling east on Route 50 near Belmont Ridge Road when he allegedly lost control of his 1994 Chevrolet Camero and struck a tree. Jun, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to members of the Sheriff's Office Accident Reconstruction Unit speed and the wet conditions of the roadway are believed to be factors in the accident.

<sh>Stores Fail Sting Operation

<bt>Four area cashiers each face up to a $2,500 fine, up to one year in jail or both for allegedly selling alcohol to a minor, officials say.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office sent two undercover teenagers last week into 20 convenience stores to try and buy some beer for their friends. The underage alcohol sales operation was conducted by the Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Violations were found in three Ashburn and one Sterling store, law enforcement officials said.

Cashiers at Ashburn Exxon in Junction Plaza, Partlow's Store on Ashburn Road, the 7-11 in Old Ashburn Square and the In and Out Mart on West Church Road either failed to card the teens or to calculate the age correctly.

An Alcohol Beverage Control spokeswoman said penalties for the store owners will depend on the circumstances and whether they have prior violations.

Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Sheriff's Department, said six cashiers at Eastern Loudoun County convenience stores sold alcohol to minors in a similar operation in February.

The Sheriff's Office and ABC plan to conduct further operations throughout the county. "Sale of alcohol to an underage buyer can be avoided by taking that extra minute to check their IDs," Sheriff Steve Simpson said.

<sh>Driver Rescued from Car Fire

<bt>A Manassas man was pulled from a burning car Wednesday morning after he allegedly fell asleep at the wheel and drove off of the roadway and into a tree, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Edgar Funes, 20, was traveling north on Belmont Ridge Road just south of Hay Road in Ashburn, July 21, when his 1997 Plymouth two-door left the roadway and struck a tree.ÊÊ

As the vehicle became involved in flames a bystander, who had been driving behind Funes, pulled him from the car.

Fire and rescue personnel from Ashburn and Loudoun County responded to the scene shortly before 10 a.m. and extinguished the flames coming from the car as well as the tree, which had also caught fire.

Funes was initially taken to the Lansdowne campus of Loudoun County Hospital and would later be flown to Washington Hospital Center where he is being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.

According to Accident Investigators Funes apparently fell asleep at the wheel before his car traveled off of the right side of the roadway. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Charges are pending in the accident.

<sh>Chain-Reaction Accident

<bt>A four-vehicle accident Tuesday morning on Evergreen Mills Road (Rt. 621) near Arcola sent three people to area hospitals and completely shut down the roadway for several hours, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A 2002 Honda Civic driven by Marcus Fitzgerald, 29, of Leesburg, was traveling westbound on Route 621, July 20, when for unknown reasons he allegedly crossed a double yellow line and struck an oncoming 1995 Nissan pickup driven by David Desjardins, 31, also of Leesburg.

Fitzgerald's vehicle continued driving westbound in the eastbound lanes when he struck, head-on, a 1993 Toyota Corolla driven by Constance McKnight, 58, of Leesburg.

Desjardins' vehicle, after being hit, continued across the eastbound lanes where it was struck by a 2000 Dodge van driven by Earl Alger, 54, of Stanley.

Fitzgerald was initially taken to the Lansdowne campus of Loudoun Hospital but would later be airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital where he was listed in critical condition. McKnight was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital from the scene and was also listed in critical condition. Alger was taken to Fair Oaks Hospital where he was treated and released. Desjardins was treated at the scene.

It is unclear whether Fitzgerald was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. Investigators have determined however that the other three victims in the accident were buckled up.

Deputies responded shortly before 8:30 a.m. along with Fire and Rescue personnel from South Riding, Moorefield, Loudoun County and Fairfax County. The roadway was completely shut down just west of Route 659 and was not reopened until just before noon.

Witnesses to the accident are asked to contact DFC Cenate of the Sheriff's Office Accident Reconstruction Unit at 703-771-5798.

<sh>Help Kids Get Haircuts

<bt>The Loudoun County Department of Social Services has teamed up with the Hair Cuttery to help underprivileged kids get a trim with the sixth annual "Share a Haircut" campaign. From Aug. 1-15, for the purchase of every child's haircut, the Hair Cuttery will donate one free haircut for an underprivileged child. The goal is to gather at least 600 haircuts for the county; nationally, the Hair Cuttery is aiming for 50,000 haircuts. Social Services will distribute the free haircut coupons, good through December, to children served by the department.

<sh>Supervisors Settle Lawsuits

<bt>The Board of Supervisors agreed last week to settle five lawsuits filed against the previous board. The lawsuits, filed by Gas Mart Corp., Nellco LLC and Four Sons Family LLC, objected to a January 2003 rezoning of the companies' land that the plaintiffs claimed significantly diminished the property value. The rezoning required a 200-foot setback from property lines, essentially precluding construction on the small lots. In one case, Gas Mart Corp. claimed the value of a piece of land was reduced by $862,000. On July 20, the board approved the settlement of the lawsuits as well as an intent to reestablish the properties' pre-2003 zoning.

<sh>Citizens Needed to Fill Vacancies

<bt>The Board of Supervisors is seeking citizens to serve on the following advisory boards, commissions and committees: Animal Advisory Committee, Potomac District representative; Art Advisory Committee, one at-large representative; Commission on Aging, Sterling District representative; Commission on Women, Catoctin, Potomac and Sterling District representatives; Community Criminal Justice Board, Broad Run and Sugarland Run District representatives; Community Services Board, three at-large representatives; Commuter Bus Advisory Board, Broad Run, Catoctin, Sugarland Run, Potomac, Sterling Districts and the chairman's representative; Disability Services Board, four at-large business representatives or representatives who have a disability or who have a family member with a disability; Equal Employment Opportunity Plan Committee, At-large representatives; Open Space Advisory Committee, Broad Run and Sugarland Run District representatives; Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Sugarland Run District representative; Road Viewers Board, At-large representatives; Woods Road Special Exception Oversight Committee, At-large representatives.

For information about specific vacancies, contact Sally Keefer at the Board of Supervisors office, 703-771-5034. Information about each board, committee and commission is available online on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/advisory.