Last of seven charged in SEPTA shooting held for trial

Posted: July 06, 2012

THE LAST OF SEVEN defendants charged in the June 2011 strafing of a SEPTA bus in North Philadelphia was held for trial Thursday on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses.

Municipal Judge Charles Hayden set an arraignment for July 26 in Common Pleas Court for Dimetrius Patterson, 23. She is in state custody.

Six co-defendants have pleaded guilty. Five have been sentenced to prison terms, and a sixth is awaiting sentencing.

The shooting happened on June 18, 2011, as a SEPTA Route 47 bus pulled up to 7th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Two men in white T-shirts rushed to the open back door, and one whipped out a rifle from his pants while the other held a pistol.

After co-defendant Penny Chapman, 21, got off the bus with her son, she allegedly told one of the men to shoot a passenger, Lafenus Pickett, with whom she had a verbal disagreement.

According to court testimony Thursday, Chapman allegedly called Patterson, and Patterson allegedly rounded up her cousins, co-defendants Karon and Raheen Patterson, and others, and walked with them to meet the bus.

Karon Patterson, 20, was armed with an automatic rifle, and Raheen Patterson, 22, had a pistol, officials said.

After the back door to the bus was opened, Dimetrius Patterson allegedly screamed at Pickett to get off the bus, according to court testimony. Moments later, the bus was sprayed with gunfire, although none of the passengers or driver was hit.

Karon and Raheen Patterson pleaded guilty in May to attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses and were each handed 15- to 30-year prison sentences by Common Pleas Judge Willis Berry.

Chapman pleaded guilty in June to attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses and got five to 10 years.

Co-defendants Keith Bellamy, 24, and Lawrence Rahyle, 19, also pleaded guilty in June to attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses and received terms of 7?1/2 to 15 years, and four to 10 years, respectively.

Co-defendant Angel Lecourt, 19, who pleaded guilty in April to aggravated assault and related offenses, is awaiting sentencing.

Contact Michael Hinkelman at 215-854-2656 or or follow on Twitter @MHinkelman.

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