Woman sentenced to 3 years after injecting son with her own blood

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A Fairfax County, Virginia, woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for injecting her son with her own blood, the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office confirmed Friday.

Elizabeth Malone, 28, was arrested on a charge of child abuse in spring 2018. Staffers at Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church had called officers after seeing Malone act suspiciously in the 5-year-old’s room, Fairfax County police said.

Footage from a hidden camera showed Malone pick up a syringe, empty its contents, refill the syringe with an unknown substance, then insert the substance into the boy’s mouth and nose, according to documents. The footage later helped confirm that the substance was her own blood.

Reportedly, the boy had been brought to the hospital seven times in four months. NBC Washington reports the boy was severely disabled, and the injections led to serious infections. 

Malone may suffer from Munchausen by proxy, Malone’s lawyer told NBC Washington. Munchausen by proxy is a mental health disorder in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury to someone in their care in order to get attention.

At the hearing Friday, NBC Washington reported Malone pleaded with the judge:

“I’m not a monster. I’m not an evil woman. I love my children,” she said.

Malone has already served one year in prison since her arrest. The sentence confirms she will spend another two years behind bars.

“We hope this sentence will help with the healing process for those whose lives have been forever altered by these evil actions taken against an innocent child,” said Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Casey Lingan.

“This was a truly tragic case.”

WTOP’s Jack Pointer contributed to this story.

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Round1 bringing bowling, billiards, arcade to Potomac Mills

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Potomac Mills announced Friday that it’ll soon welcome Virginia’s first Round1, a growing chain of entertainment centers that will move into the site of the former Neiman Marcus Off Rack at the popular Woodbridge outlet mall.

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Hate crime argued for 3 Charlottesville white nationalist rally rioters

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Arguments during the sentencing hearing of three California men who pleaded guilty to federal rioting charges connected to the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, are focused on whether they committed a hate crime.

Benjamin Daley, Thomas Gillen and Michael Miselis each face up to five years in prison. The three were caught on camera punching, kicking and choking counterprotesters during the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017.

Testimony is focusing on whether or not the crimes were motivated by hate — a hate crime enhancement — which could result in a more severe sentence.

Prosecutors showed U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon video and still photos of the three before, during and after the rally, in which Heather Heyer was killed. James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a group of counterprotesters — he’s been sentenced to life in prison for the murder.

In one photo, the three are pictured in a rented van, traveling to a rally in California; all three are making what prosecutors said is a white power gesture.

Attorneys for the three defendants argue that prosecutors have failed to present any evidence that showed the violence was prompted by the victims’ race, religion, gender or other protected classes.

Video was shown of the white nationalists walking two-by-two near Emancipation Park, after it had been closed by police. At some point, the three were involved in physical clashes with counterprotesters who lined the street.

“These guys have morally reprehensible views,” said Lisa Lorish, defense attorney for Daley, but added that the victims “got in the way and the defendants committed assaults.”

Gillen’s attorney, David Eustis, told the judge: “The counterprotesters got involved because of what they were doing, not who they were.”

Gene Cox, the attorney for Miselis, said the group’s anti-Semitic and racist words and book burning were all First Amendment-protected speech. “If this is an anti-Semitic organization, they’re the world’s most incompetent anti-Semitic organization,” because they didn’t know whether their assault victims were Jewish.

Prosecutor Chris Kavanaugh disagreed: “In the book burning photo, they’re burning ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘Schindler’s List,’ with a pork chop on top, while making the Nazi salute — to say there’s no link to the people is not true.”

Prosecutors displayed texts between Daley and his mother, in which she expressed her concern about her son. “This is violence, this is not self-defense,” she texted. “Your message is violent — you are not being excommunicated from the family, but your world is going to continue to shrink.”

In the text exchange, Daley insisted Jewish people were responsible for many of the world’s ills. His mother replied: “You have never been harmed by any Jew or Black.”

After additional arguments Friday afternoon, the judge is expected to pronounce his sentence.

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Va. health officials warn of increased respiratory illnesses; Greenspring says no new cases

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The Virginia Department of Health said it’s receiving an increased number of reports of respiratory illness throughout the state compared to previous years, adding that most of those reports are among older adults and those with chronic medical conditions in assisted living and long-term care facilities.

The reports are statewide and involve different diseases.

That includes pertussis (whooping cough), influenza, Haemophilus influenzae infection, Legionnaire’s disease and pneumonia caused by rhinovirus or human metapneumovirus.

“A variety of germs cause respiratory illness, some with increased activity in summer months,” State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA, said in a release. “We encourage everyone to take steps to minimize the severity and prevent spreading illness to others.”

The news follows on the heels that three people died and dozens more were sickened by an upper respiratory illness at Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield.

The Fairfax County Health Department said Friday that it continues to monitor the outbreak.

But the agency had good news: There have been no new illnesses reported in the assisted living and Garden Ridge areas for the last few days, and residents who have been ill are recovering.

The county health department also said the cause of the illnesses has yet to be identified.

“To avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others, it is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing,” Oliver said. “To help prevent the spread of germs, avoid close contact with people who are sick. Anyone who is sick should stay home, except when seeking medical care. If you develop difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, immediately seek medical care.”

There was also an outbreak of respiratory illnesses at Heatherwood, an assisted-living facility in Burke, but officials said Wednesday there was no evidence linking the two outbreaks.

Per the Virginia Health Department: Certain groups are especially vulnerable for developing severe respiratory illness, including young children, adults 65 years or older, those with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart conditions) and those with weakened immune systems.

Extreme heat, such as the heat wave Virginia is currently experiencing, can also be dangerous for older adults and people with heart and lung diseases.

Tips to avoid heat-related illness include drinking plenty of water, keeping cool indoors, dressing for the heat and limiting physical activity, especially in the middle of the day.

For more information about heat-related illness, see the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

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