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Lorton man sentenced for sandwich shop fire

A Lorton man has been sentenced for arson in the case of a Lorton sandwich shop that was set on fire in February.

Horace Sinclair Thompson, Jr., 25, of Lorton was sentenced Dec. 19 to 60 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, for the arson at Sub Shop Eats, located in Lorton.

Thompson was found guilty following a multi-day jury trial on Oct. 3.

According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, on Feb. 6, 2013, Thompson intentionally poured gasoline inside Sub Shop Eats and ignited the flammable vapors with a lighter. The ensuing blaze caused a massive explosion and fireball that destroyed most of the store. The force of the blast was so strong that it blew out the store’s windows, cracked and melted porcelain fixtures, and blew a door off its hinges. Thompson was apprehended after he was admitted to the hospital with burns consistent with the fire. This case was investigated by the Fairfax County Police Department, the Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Fan causes Annandale art gallery fire

Fairfax County firefighters responded to a fire in an Annandale art gallery at approximately 9:45 a.m. Dec. 19. The gallery is located in the 7200 block of Maple Place.

Firefighters said they encountered smoke and fire in a house that had been renovated several times, to include a business with residential units on the top and bottom floors. Firefighters located the fire on the first floor and brought it under control within minutes of their arrival. One man was transported to Washington Hospital Center with a non-life-threatening injury. Fire investigators say they are working with the owner of the property to determine loss, as many paintings were damaged. The cause of the fire was determined to be a malfunction of a stove hood fan.

New Jersey man sentenced in underage sex case

On Dec. 20, Royce DeWeese, 26, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was sentenced to nine years in prison for traveling to Fairfax to have sex with a minor. DeWeese pleaded guilty to the charge in federal court on Sept. 13. According to court documents, between March and May 2013, DeWeese communicated over the Internet with an undercover Homeland Security Investigations agent about plans to travel to Fairfax in order to engage in sexual activity with the undercover agent’s fictitious 10-year-old daughter.

Court records state that on May 14, DeWeese did in fact travel from New Jersey to Fairfax, where Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested him.

Suspects sought in Falls Church armed robbery

The City of Falls Church Police Department seeks information in an armed robbery that occurred at 421 W. Broad St. (Inns of Virginia) at about 7 p.m. Dec. 15.

Police say three suspects, described as black men in their late teens or early 20s, entered the business wearing black ski masks and black gloves. Police say they demanded money from the cash register while one suspect brandished a firearm. After the employee complied, the suspects fled on foot. There were no injuries. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to call the City of Falls Church Police Department at 703-248-5053.

Fire damages Alexandria townhouse

Fairfax County firefighters said they responded to a fire in a townhouse at approximately 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The townhouse is located on the 6500 block of Gildar Street.

Units from the Franconia station arrived less than five minutes after dispatch to report an end-unit townhouse with smoke showing from the rear of the home. Firefighters encountered smoke and fire in the basement of the townhouse, and brought the fire under control within minutes of their arrival. A woman was transported to Washington Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Damage is estimated at $75,000. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Husband killing case delayed another month

The case of a Sterling woman accused of fatally shooting her husband has been further delayed as hospital officials have requested an additional month for a psychiatric evaluation.

A mental evaluation to determine whether Rosangela Spradling is able to stand trial was ordered Oct. 11.

Roseangela Spradling, 42, is accused of shooting her husband Steven Spradling, 52, on May 17 in their Sterling home.

According to earlier testimony, the two had argued earlier in the evening, with Steven Spradling, a Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officer, throwing Roseangela Spradling to the ground and choking her. Roseangela Spradling would later retrieve his service weapon and shoot him.

A spokesperson for the LCSO said there had been multiple calls to the home for domestic disturbance issues beginning in 2003.

Spradling currently faces charges of first-degree murder, maliciously discharging a firearm into a dwelling and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Daughter killing case ends in mistrial, again

The second trial for a Sterling woman accused of murdering her infant daughter in 2005 has once again ended in a mistrial Dec. 20 after jurors failed to unanimously agree on a verdict.

The trial, which began Dec. 16, concluded at around 1 p.m. Dec. 20. After a little more than four hours deliberating, the jury reported to Judge Burke McCahill that they felt they would not be able to reach a unanimous verdict.

McCahill issued an Allen Charge, which encourages the jury to continue deliberating until a verdict is reached.

Shortly after 6 p.m., the jury announced that a verdict still could not be reached.

“Based on the instructions you gave us, we feel we cannot unanimously agree with the charges,” the forewoman told Judge Burke McCahill.

The mistrial is the second in the case of a Sterling woman, Vanesa Patricio Cruz, 31, who is accused of beating her 20-month-old daughter to death nearly eight years ago.

The saga began Aug. 13, 2005, when Jocelin Guttierez collapsed in the parking lot of Santee Inc., a trucking company. Jalacio De La Cruz, Cruz’s boyfriend and now common-law husband, was changing the oil in his car while Cruz and Jocelin sat nearby. The family rushed to a South Riding rescue center, and the baby was taken to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Though the case ran cold for years, it was reopened in 2011. Cruz was arrested in March 2012, after tearfully confessing during a police interview to hitting her daughter with a remote control.

She was charged with second degree murder, felony homicide and child abuse and neglect.

The case was brought to trial in May and reached jury deliberations, but after a bailiff honored the jury’s request for a ruler, McCahill was forced to grant the defense’s motion for a mistrial. All items used in deliberation must first be vetted by the court.