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Pedestrian dies after being hit in Germantown

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) -- A pedestrian died after police say he was hit by a car in Germantown Friday night, according to the Montgomery County Police Department.

The pedestrian has been identified as Damien Anthony Denning, 47, police said.

The accident happened around 6:11 p.m. when Denning was crossing the 19600 block of Route 355. Police say a Chevrolet Malibu hit Denning. Police say Denning later died at the hospital. 

The driver of the Chevrolet has been identified as James Wesley Ford, 52, of Germantown. Police say he was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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14-year-old afraid to cross street after hit-and-run

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 14-year-old Germantown boy says he's now afraid to cross the street along after he was the victim of a hit-and-run while he was riding his bike. 

“Especially when there are people turning left and they stop waiting for me. I’m not sure if they’re just going to run me over me over again because I’m so slow,” Fernando Alvarez told WUSA 9 on Thursday.

That’s what the 9th grader said happened almost two-in-a-half weeks ago on October 6 at around 7:30 a.m.

Alvarez said he was headed to Seneca Valley High School on his bike when an African American woman driving a white van or SUV made a left turn onto Great Seneca Highway at Wisteria Drive and hit him while he was in the crosswalk with other students. Alvarez thinks the driver was trying to squeeze in between a group of students and him on his bike.

Vigil honors transgender woman murdered in Gaithersburg

GERMANTOWN, MD- Dozens of family and friends of Zella Ziona, the transgender woman gunned down in a Gaithersburg alley on Thursday, gathered Sunday to mourn her loss, and spread a message: stop the hate.

On Saturday, Montgomery County police arrested Rico LeBlond, 20, and charged him with first-degree murder in Ziona’s death. In charging documents, police lay out embarrassment that a friendship between LeBlond and Ziona had been publicly exposed as a possible motive in her killing. Hate crime charges have not yet been filed or ruled out.

“In my heart, I feel like that’s what it was,” said Jeron Jackson, Zella’s uncle, when asked if he believed the murder was a hate crime.

Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Fall is a time when millions of people around the country begin to make their travel plans. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the busiest travel times of the year are just around the corner, which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. There are some great reasons why packing light will help make your trip easier and more enjoyable. And the good news is that it’s not difficult to do, either.

“If you want to pack right when you travel then you really need to focus on packing light,” explains Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of Savvy Travelers. “There’s much less hassle and stress when you pack light and stick to the basics. You can put your focus on your travel, rather than having all of your attention go to dragging around way too much luggage.”

Here are some Savvy Travelers tips for packing light and right for fall and holiday air travel:

Man in custody after fatal Germantown stabbing

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA*9) -- A man has been arrested and charged with murder after Montgomery County police say he stabbed and killed a man Tuesday night in a Germantown parking lot.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez-Gaona, 36, was arrested Wednesday at around noon and charged with first-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old William Palacios. 

Germantown man arrested for human trafficking

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Germantown man was arrested Monday for running a prostitution business and human trafficking, Montgomery County police said.

Armand Theinkue Donfack has been charged with two counts of human trafficking, one count of operating a business for prostitution and two counts of prostitution.

Police say on July 7, detectives began an investigation into possible prostitution activity after receiving tips about escort advertisements on the Internet. Detectives emailed a contact and arranged to meet a female escort at a hotel in the Milestone area of Germantown on July 8.

Later that evening, detectives arrived at the hotel and observed a man, later identified as Donfack, arrive at the hotel. He entered the lobby and left a short time later in a vehicle, police said.

Criminal past of Germantown murder-suicide gunman goes back to 1992

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Shock and anger continue to simmer over why the gunman in the Germantown murder-suicide wasn't behind bars despite a lengthy criminal past. 

Johnnie Perkins had an extensive criminal history dating back to 1992, with offenses that include assault, drug distribution, gun possession and numerous traffic violations, including driving under the influence of alcohol.

More than half his life has been spent in and out of jail, but never for felonies considered “violent.”

"Over the past six years, this guy [Perkins] has been involved with eight criminal charges with five suburban counties: Montgomery, PG, Frederick, Howard and Anne Arundel. And three of those six years he was in jail," Steven Van Grack, a criminal defense attorney said.