Phila. man, 57, convicted in home-invasion robbery

Posted: July 12, 2014

Teens who commit crimes often age out of such conduct by their mid-30s, criminologists say. Apparently, no one told Kevin Green.

Green's adult criminal career began at age 18 in 1975. By the late 1980s, he was in one of the city's most feared drug gangs, and was involved in a shooting war with the more-feared "Junior Black Mafia."

Green was 36 when he escaped a life sentence for murder - he got seven to 15 years - in the notorious 1989 shooting of Donald Branch, a Cheltenham computer software expert dining at Tobin's Inn in West Oak Lane. Branch was an innocent man whom Green's associates mistook for JBM leader Aaron Jones. Luckily for Green, his gang left him behind when he took too long to get an Uzi for the planned hit.

That may have been Green's last lucky break.

Now 57, Green was found guilty Thursday by a Philadelphia jury for an Aug. 10, 2013, home invasion robbery that painfully illustrates why street crime is for the young.

Green and exotic dancer Charda Martin Gilyard, 26, were charged in the robbery of Jose "Tony" Torres and his wife, Elizabeth Varela, at their home in the 3500 block of North Fifth Street, on the edge of Kensington.

According to testimony in the two-day trial, Green and Gilyard went to the house posing as prospective tenants for one of Torres' rental properties and forced their way inside. Green, brandishing a .38-caliber revolver, terrorized Varela and her autistic son, Joshua, 12, before fleeing with $7,713 in cash.

It was a short flight.

A neighbor spotted the pair running from the house - Green with a wrapped block of bills under an arm, Gilyard awkwardly sprinting in stiletto heels - and chased them.

Gilyard got a half-dozen blocks before she was arrested in the 900 block of Sedgley Street.

Green, who had been on parole just 10 months, made it about twice as far before he was arrested near Broad and Clearfield Streets.

A stocky man with a patch of gray in the front of his close-cropped haircut, Green did not testify.

But he was not silent - and did nothing to help his court-appointed lawyer, William J. Ciancaglini.

Instead, Green regularly interrupted lawyer and judge with objections based on Moorish American and "sovereign citizen" political theory. He insisted the court and law were unconstitutional and did not apply to him.

When Ciancaglini and Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich asked Green whether he wanted to testify, Green replied: "I object to you being my attorney and I object to these proceedings. ... I do not consent to them."

Ehrlich set sentencing for Sept. 12 and Assistant District Attorney Jill Fertel said she would seek life in prison under Pennsylvania's three-strikes law.

Gilyard pleaded guilty Tuesday and is to be sentenced Sept. 8.


jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|