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A Question of Substance

MICHELLE XU

Usually it’s the Supreme Court justices who get to ask the tough questions. But every so often, prominent public figures come to Georgetown, and undergraduates glean the rare opportunity to ask questions in return.

Last Wednesday, those who attended Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s lecture received an index card where they could write one question for Sotomayor to answer during the standard post-lecture question-and-answer session — a Gaston Hall standard that usually fosters a candid discussion and enriches university programming. In Wednesday’s case, however, the questions were screened and posed by a university official, rather than the student or event attendee who originally wanted an answer.

Fire engulfs multiple self-storage units in Upper Marlboro


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) – Crews responded to a fire at a self-storage facility in Upper Marlboro Tuesday, the Prince George’s County Fire Department said.

No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. 

Prominent scam artist turned informant found dead in truck


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Leesburg man who was a jailhouse informant while serving time for scamming banks out of millions was shot to death. 

Osama El-Atari was found dead Saturday inside his new Dodge Ram pickup truck in front of an abandoned home in Upper Marlboro just outside the Beltway.

El-Atari, 37, was reported missing by his family Thursday.

Investigators have been silent about details into the death of the former restauranteur and car collector. El-Atari is probably more well known for his role in a Ponzi scheme that managed to scam several banks out of $71 million.

In 2009, while in jail for stealing from the banks, El-Atari met former Marine Jorge Torrez, who told El-Atari he'd killed a young navy petty officer named Amanda Snell in a case that had gone cold in 2009. Torrez then admitted to killing two young girls in his hometown in Ohio.

Prince George's Co. police chief prioritizes child safety


UPPER MARLBORO, Md (WUSA9) -- Prince George's County has a new police chief.

Hank Stawinski, who was appointed interim police chief a little more than a month ago, had his daughter at his side as the county council unanimously confirmed him as police chief Tuesday.

Stawinski says his main reason for taking the job was to keep her and all the children of Prince George's safe. Part of that is continuing to dig for answers in the case of Deonte Carraway, the teacher's aide accused of making child porn inside an elementary school in Glenarden.

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Va. scam artist found dead in Prince George's County


PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police are investigating a Va. scam artist who was shot dead in Prince George's County on Saturday afternoon.  

Police said 37-year-old Osama El-Atari of Leesburg was found inside of a pickup truck suffering from a gunshot wound.

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Officials responded to the 9000 block of Armstrong Lane around 3:40 p.m.  

He was pronounced dead on the scene. 

Police said the victim was reported missing in Loudoun County.

El-Atari was sentenced 12 years in prison in 2010 for a plot that defrauded banks across the country of $53 million.

Woman found dead on Rt. 301 was a mother of two young kids


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- Maryland State police have identified the woman found dead Saturday night along Route 301 in Upper Marlboro as Tiffany Storey. 

“She loved her kids,” said Pam Jensen. Jensen works with the First Baptist Church of Upper Marlboro and told WUSA9 that Storey was once a very active member of their church.

Police say Storey was found dead Saturday along Route 301 near the Route 4 overpass just before 9:30 p.m. Maryland State Police said Storey was found clothed, face-down and with serious trauma to the head and upper torso. Police also said there were no signs of suspicious injury.

A Medical Examiner is still investigating the cause of death.

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Body of fully clothed woman found on Rt. 301 in Md.​

Lawmaker w/ history of blocking DUI laws represents alleged drunk driver


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- How could a guy continue to drive with a traffic and criminal record that stretches back years and includes drunk driving and fleeing police?

The answer may have to do with his lawyer -- a guy who not only argues the law -- he writes it.

Maryland State Police say James Calero was drunk Thursday night when he plowed head-on into 20-year-old Adedire Olanrewaju Ososanya on Route 202 near Prince George's Community College.

Court records show Calero has a history of drunk and reckless driving and has also been accused of eluding police and fleeing the scene of the accident.

Frederick Douglass HS student make blankets for homeless


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- Dozens of students at Frederick Douglass High School did their part to keep those in need warm this winter by making blankets for the homeless.

The students made about 50 fleece blankets as part of their "Warm Wishes" project.

"At any day, at any time, we could all be in that same situation. So it's nice to give back to the community for people that could be just like you," Jhia Anthony, a student at the school said.

The students plan on handing out the blankets near the Verizon Center from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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HS football coach sentenced for having sex with student


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Beltsville high school teacher and football coach has been sentenced to 10 years for having sex with a student the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office said.

High Point High School teacher, Andre Brown, 34, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty in September of sex abuse of a minor.

"We are pleased that Mr. Brown was given this sentence because he was in a position of power and had the responsibility to care for and protect the children in his school," said Alsobrooks. "Instead, Mr. Brown violated that trust and now not only is his life forever changed, but so are the lives of the victim and her family, as well as his own children and family."

Vigil honors Md. mother of 4 killed in murder suicide


UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- Dozens of people gathered Sunday night outside a home in Upper Marlboro where police say a woman was shot and killed by her husband after an argument.

Many of Tonya Wilkerson's mourners rode in on motorcycles and wore matching leather jackets as a tribute to the president of their motorcycle club.

Police say Wilkerson, 35, was killed by 37-year-old Antione Sullivan after an argument inside their home. After shooting Wilkerson, Sullivan, a former police officer with D.C. Protective Services, then turned the gun on himself, according to police.

At around 5:30 p.m., members of the K9 Too motorcycle club of Maryland roared through the quiet suburban neighborhood on their bikes. The club, which is made up entirely of women, believes Wilkerson's death shows the dangers of domestic violence.