Facebook ‘hit’ post will go to trial

Posted: August 15, 2011

A Southwest Philadelphia woman who allegedly posted an ad on her Facebook page offering $1,000 to anyone willing to kill her child's father, and the Darby man who answered the ad, were ordered to stand trial Monday.

London Eley, 19, is charged with criminal solicitation for murder, and Timothy Bynum, 18, is charged with attempted murder, conspiracy and possession of an instrument of crime. Police recovered a .22 handgun from his home.

They will be formally arraigned Sept. 6.

The pair were arrested in June after police were tipped about the posting on Eley's Facebook wall.

After a heated argument with her baby's father, police said, Eley wrote in May: "I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father."

Bynum, police said, wrote back: "say no more ... what he look like ... where he be at ... need that stack 1st ima mop that bull."

"One of the comments made by the female was that she was not kidding, she was serious," Assistant District Attorney Jack O'Neil said after Monday's hearing.

In holding the pair for trial, Municipal Judge Patrick F. Dugan brushed aside arguments from their attorneys that they never intended to go through with the hit.

"Whether it was a joke or whether it's a crime is something that a court is going to decide," a stern-faced Dugan said.

"People should not be playing on their computers. The world is evolving ... as are the courts," Dugan added.

Eley and Bynum have been locked up since being arrested June 10, unable to post bail. On Monday, Dugan granted defense requests to reduce Eley's bail from $50,000 to $35,000 and Bynum's from $75,000 to $50,000.

Gerald Stein, Eley's attorney, said she never took any steps toward having her ex-boyfriend killed.

"I think what you have here is someone who was venting, who was upset and once her anger subsided that was the end of this episode on Facebook," Stein said.

Attorney Lopez Thompson said Bynum is a good kid, from a good family with no prior criminal involvement and who had no intention of killing anyone.

Eley never gave Bynum the intended target's name, age or address, Thompson noted.

As for the gun that Bynum is holding in a picture posted on his own Facebook page, that is actually a BB gun, Lopez said.

"People try to be something that they are not on Facebook," he said.

"He's a nice young man. He's friendly. What you see on Facebook is not a representation of his character. It was a joke," Thompson said.

"This is just a sensational case for the Commonwealth, and I'm going to fight it to the end."

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