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NARY A DROP? 9 In a formal communiqué to City of Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner earlier this month, Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney Raymond Morrogh said he’d determined that the Fairfax grand jury and his office had “acted appropriately in declining to indict” the man who shot and killed former Falls Church resident Jack Stephen “Steve” Cornejo in June 2005. Morrogh was an assistant in the office at the time of the killing and was elected to the Commonwealth Attorney post last November. He’d promised Mayor Gardner he’d review the case. Cornejo was killed by a single gunshot through his upper back in an early-morning altercation with a neighbor, Brandon Paul Gotwalt, to an apartment where Cornejo was attending a party. In his three-page letter, Morrogh defended the Fairfax police investigation into the shooting, recounting details provided by witnesses at the scene, and the grand jury decision not to indict Gotwalt. Morrogh did not explain why his office refused to disclose Gotwalt’s identity until it was subpoenaed almost two years later. Morrogh said in the letter The City of Falls Church and its inside-the-beltway neighbors will not suffer the continued slide in real estate values that some officials suggest could leave Fairfax County with a stunning, overall 10 percent decline in taxable assessments next year. Such is the view of one of the area’s most prominent locally-based developers, Robert Young of the Young Group and Jefferson One LLC, as expressed in an exclusive interview with the News-Press this week. In fact, Young identified what he called a “surprising trend” in Falls Church this summer that he’s observed, and that may be a harbinger of an early warming up of the housing market here. “The usual pattern is for interest in home buying to drop off during the summer months from a spring peak,” he noted. “But that has not happened this year. There is a surprising amount of activity, of persons who are serious and intending to buy a home, looking around for something.” He said the only thing holding them back is an uncertainty about whether the prices are going down further, or not. “Once they become convinced that prices are not going to be dropping much more around here at all, they’ll start buying,” he said. “There appears to be plenty of prospective new home buyers out there. There is a lot of pent up demand.” One of the reasons for this is the ideal proximity of Falls Church to multiple transporta- Continued on Page 4 Continued on Page 5

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