The Faheem Thomas-Childs Case

Posted: March 17, 2006


Feb. 11: Faheem Thomas-Childs, 10, caught in the cross fire of a battle between two groups of men, is shot in the face near T.M. Peirce Elementary School in North Philadelphia. School crossing guard Debra Smith, 56, is shot in the foot.

Feb. 14: Kennell Spady, 19, and Kareem Johnson, 20, are charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. Despite a $65,000 reward for information (which later grows to $105,000), no witnesses come forward.

Feb. 16: Faheem dies of his wounds. The charges against Spady and Johnson are upgraded to murder the next day.

Feb. 17: Mayor Street vows to boost school safety measures, saying school shootings will automatically trigger a 72-hour police presence.

Feb. 20: Cassius Broaster, named one of the citys most dangerous men, is labeled a suspect.

Feb. 24: More than 2,500 mourners attend Faheems funeral at Deliverance Evangelistic Church.

April 10: At least 8,000 people participate in the "March to Save the Children," ending in a rally outside Peirce Elementary School.

July 6: Jerome Broaster, Cassius brother, is arrested and charged with three gun violations.

July 15: Broaster pleads guilty to an unrelated firearms charge. He is later sentenced to 33 months in prison.


March 7: The first prosecution witness in Faheems trial, Taniesha Wiggins, 18, testifies that she cant remember details of the shooting after her father tells her: "Just remember what I told you to say: I dont remember. " Assistant District Attorney Jason Bologna says: "Its

disappointing when a witness goes south."

March 8: Patricia Arnold, Faheems mother, testifies that she told her son before he left for school on the day of the shooting: "Watch out for cars, watch out for strangers, and if somebodys shooting, duck." Two additional defense witnesses "go south."

March 13: A sixth witness denies prior statements to police.

March 14: Three defense witnesses testify that Johnson and Spady were attacked by the Broaster brothers and returned fire in self-defense.

March 16: Kareem Johnson, now 22, and Kennell Spady, now 21, are convicted of first-degree murder.

Sentencing is April 28.

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