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RETURN of the PIXIES & Popular band stops by Strathmore with retooled lineup B-5 The Gazette BETHESDA | CHEVY CHASE | KENSINGTON DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, January 22, 2014 25 cents Women charged with murder in exorcism held without bond n Hearing for Monifa Sanford postponed until Friday BY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH STAFF WRITER She saw the devil possessing her four children, turning their eyes black, leaping from child to child, prosecutors said. So to try to exorcise the demon, Zakieya L. Avery, along with another woman who lived with her, attacked the little children. Avery stabbed them, killing her 1-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Thinking the devil inhabited the bodies of her older children, she attacked the other two — one, 5, the other, 8 — prosecutors said. Avery, 28, and her roommate Monifa Sanford, 21, call themselves the “Demon Assassins” and each faces two counts of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. They appeared in court via closed-circuit television Tuesday at a bail review hearing, where Montgomery County District Judge Gary G. Everngam ordered the two women remain in custody without bail. Avery must undergo a psychiatric evaluation by health officials. Sanford’s hearing was postponed to Friday. Officials say once the psychiatric evaluations are completed, both women will likely be transferred to a maximum security psychiatric hospital to receive further evaluation and care. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of life in prison. At the hearing, prosecutors revealed the unimaginable details of Friday morning. Police had received a call from a woman who told them she See EXORCISM, Page A-10 Sanford Avery Pond where boy drowned was lacking safety fence DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE The former Glen Echo Baptist Church at 2 Vassar Circle in Glen Echo, where a proposal to build four single-family homes is sparking controversy in the small community. n Proposal on Vassar Circle creates stir Residents hope project in Glen Echo can be scaled back n BY PEGGY MCEWAN STAFF WRITER It is a small circle in a small town, but the idea of new development has started a large discussion. In Glen Echo — population 255, according to the 2010 U.S. Census — the mayor, the town council and residents have spent many months discussing the impending development in the center of Vassar Circle. Still, they are no closer to knowing what will really happen and what influence they will have over it, Mayor Debbie Beers said at a town meeting Monday night. “We just don’t have enough information,” Beers said. “The town is doing a survey [of the property].” The property to be developed is between 25,000 and 27,000 square feet. It is zoned R-60, meaning there needs to be at least 6,000 square feet to build a house. Potentially, a developer could build four houses on the land, Beers said. It is in the center of Vassar Circle, where a church now stands — the former home of Glen Echo Baptist Church. As church membership waned to only 15 members — who, according to church bylaws, jointly owned the property — they voted to transfer the property to National Community Church in Washington, D.C., in early 2012, according to Mark Batterson, senior pastor of that church. Elder Tom Meeks from Glen Echo Baptist Church told members of the town council at a September 2011 meeting that church members considered other alternatives, but decided the national church’s “mission would be most compatible with the town of Glen Echo,” Jim McGunnigle wrote in the town’s monthly newsletter. “We had every intention of renovating the church,” Batterson said. “But when the bids came in, it was just too much.” Batterson also said the church realized there See VASSAR, Page A-10 If talks collapse, county or state might claim Apex building for Purple Line Owners willing to talk, but eminent domain an option n BY AGNES BLUM STAFF WRITER If negotiations to raze the Apex building — so the “optimal” station for the western terminus of the $2.2 billion Purple Line can be built — fail, the downtown Bethesda building might be taken by eminent domain, according to a county official. But at a public hearing on the Bethesda Purple Line Station Minor Master Plan Amendment on Jan. 14, the owners of the building said they were still willing to nego- tiate. The Purple Line is a planned 16-mile light rail that would link Bethesda and New Carrollton. David Witmer, the senior vice president and COO of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, which owns the Apex building, said his organization appreciates the additional height the county has offered, but it was not enough to attract a developer to buy and raze the property. He called the incentives “modest.” The Planning Board approved a Minor Master Plan Amendment in December that would allow the building to be rebuilt up to 250 feet. That was an increase from an earlier proposal for 200 feet. “This is no small decision and SPORTS 500 TO 1,000 SHOTS Sandy Spring Friends basketball player finds perfection in repetition. B-1 clearly requires adequate time and consult to complete the due diligence that is necessary,” Witmer said. Witmer said his group remains willing to work out a deal with the county, but would need more than just the extra zoning. The extra zoning alone does not make moving out, evicting tenants and razing the building doable, he said. Planners want to tear down the Apex building, which also houses the Bethesda Regal 10 movie theater, to build the “optimal” Bethesda transit station. Doing so wouldallowaccesstoboththePurple Line and Metro’s Red Line, according See APEX, Page A-10 Automotive Business Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please B-13 A-11 A-2 A-13 B-10 B-5 A-14 A-12 B-1 RECYCLE 2013 FILE PHOTO The Apex building in downtown Bethesda is eyed for a Purple Line station. Westbrook Acquisitions cited for failing to install fence around sediment pond BY STAFF WRITERS The iced-over Gaithersburg sediment pond where a 10-year-old boy slipped through on Jan. 13 and later died lacked fencing required by city officials. On Jan. 13, D’Angelo Jayvon McMullen of Rockville had been playing with his brother and another boy on the pond when the ice gave way. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel rescued two of the boys quickly, but had to search for D’Angelo for much longer. Rescue officials surmised that he could have been submerged for up to half an hour. He died at a local hospital later that night. The pond was only partially fenced. On Jan. 14, the city issued a Notice of Violation to Fran Speed, a representative of Warner Construction, the site managers for Westbrook Acquisitions LLC, the developer. The notice required a 42-inch high safety fence to be reinstalled on all open sides of the pond pursuant to the sediment and erosion control plan, according to Wes Burnette, division chief for the city’s Permits and Inspections Division. While there is not a city or state code requiring safety fencing on sediment ponds, a fence was required here as part of the planning approval process during construction. John Schlichting, Gaithersburg’s director of Planning and Code Administration, said in an email that the fence must be at least 42 inches high, have posts spaced no farther apart than 8 feet, have mesh openings no greater than two inches in width and four inches in height, with a minimum of 14-gauge wire. Once construction is complete on the property and the pond is converted to a stormwater management pond, the fence can be permanently removed, SPECIAL SECTION GAZETTE SENIORS You’re never too old to shoot some hoops; recording your personal history; about the new rules for reverse mortgages; grappling with credit card debt; locals over 90 share their secrets to a long, happy life INSIDE TODAY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH AND KRISTA BRICK See POND, Page A-10 SPECIAL SECTION SUMMER ACTIVITIES GUIDE Featuring detailed information about summer camps for children ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT 1906232

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