Trial Ruled In Courtroom Shooting

Posted: December 16, 1986

A Municipal judge ruled today that Diani Brown must stand trial on charges of shooting her former boyfriend and a court employee in a City Hall courtroom last month.

Brown, 43, of 57th Street near Kingsessing Avenue, is accused of opening fire before a courtroom filled with startled spectators after a harassment case against her ex-boyfriend was continued for the seventh time since September 1985.

Wounded in the shooting were Ricky Stephenson, 30, of Yeadon Avenue in Yeadon, Delaware County, and Ramona S. Beverly, 38, of Lindbergh Boulevard near 68th Street, a court employee for more than five years.

Stephenson was grazed on his left hand. Beverly was shot in the lower left side.

Stephenson, the defendant in a criminal misdemeanor complaint filed by Brown, was among those who testified today at Brown's preliminary hearing before Municipal Judge Lydia Kirkland.

" 'Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, I have something for you,' " Stephenson quoted Brown as saying. "As I turned around she opened fire."

"I got hit in the hand and shoulder," added Stephenson.

Brown, who was released on $100,000 bail Dec. 4, did not testify and would not comment after her hearing at the 6th Police District, 11th and Winter streets.

Defense attorney David M. McGlaughlin, however, told reporters: "I promise everyone in the media an interesting story once this is concluded."

Kirkland allowed Brown, who suffers from a degenerative spine and walked into today's proceedings with the aid of a cane, to remain free on bail.

The shooting occurred Nov. 21 before nearly 100 people in Courtroom 196 just as Municipal Judge Matthew F. Coppolino had agreed to a defense request to continue the case for the seventh time.

Apparently frustrated by the move, Brown allegedly took a .38-caliber pistol from her purse and opened fire.

Brown was subdued by one of several police officers who were in the courtroom waiting to testify in other cases.

An assistant district attorney and another attorney suffered minor injuries as they ducked for cover.

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