IT WAS NO April Fools' joke yesterday when disgraced former Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth entered a courtroom to withdraw the guilty plea to which he had agreed in February for simple assault, drug possession and promoting prostitution.
Come November, the former "hero" cop will be tried on a stack of charges that could result in a decades-long prison sentence if he is convicted.
"Listen, obviously some people doubt his sanity because he turned down a deal where he would get time served, and I repeated that in the courtroom today," defense attorney A. Charles Peruto told reporters.
"But if you're truly innocent and you know you didn't do these things, to a strong-willed person . . . no amount of jail time is going to scare them from asserting their innocence. He wants his day in court and that's what this country is all about."