COMMON PLEAS COURT
Ex-cop to be tried for murder
For the second time this year, a disgraced ex-Philadelphia police officer will go on trial for first-degree murder.
Rudolph Gary Jr., 28, is scheduled to go on trial at the Criminal Justice Center today.
He could face a life sentence if he's found guilty of pumping three bullets into the body of Howard Williams, 22, in May 2010.
The victim was the brother of Gary's estranged wife, Shanae Williams.
The shooting, on a South Philly street, grew from a water-gun fight that the victim and about 20 other young adults and children were engaged in.
After a female relative of the victim's squirted Gary's girlfriend, Gary shot Williams in the neck, witnesses said.
He shot Williams several more times when he fell to the ground. The off-duty, one-year cop also wounded two bystanders, who have recovered.
Earlier this month ex-cop Frank Tepper, 46, was given a life-without-parole sentence in state prison for fatally shooting a neighbor in 2009.
Jury selection begins today in the case of a Philadelphia woman prosecutors say was the mastermind of a tax-fraud scheme in 2011 that resulted in the filing of more than 188 tax returns with the IRS using mostly Social Security numbers from Puerto Rico and falsely claiming tax refunds.
The woman, Janette Perez, 37, of Mayfair, operated a business that provided notary and check-cashing services and occasional tax preparation.
Prosecutors said that she selected the addresses to where the tax refunds would be mailed, which included the homes of family members and associates. She also recruited her handyman, co-defendant Jose Rivera, to provide additional addresses of his family members, where checks could be sent, and employed a mail carrier, co-defendant Latasha Jackson, to steal the checks from the mail stream before delivery.
Rivera and Jackson both pleaded guilty in the case last year and are expected to testify for the government.
- Catherine Lucey, Mensah Dean and Michael Hinkelman contributed to this report.