Strip-club manager pleads guilty to killing patron

Posted: July 16, 2014

JOHN PETTIT, the former manager of a Southwest Philadelphia strip club accused of killing a patron in the club's parking lot in 2009, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder yesterday.

Pettit, 53, of Pennsauken, N.J., entered into a nonnegotiated guilty plea to third-degree murder and recklessly endangering another person for the Oct. 16, 2009, fatal beating of James Koons.

Koons, 31, of Media, died from a fractured skull two weeks after Pettit punched and knocked him to the ground in the parking lot of the Oasis strip club, on Essington Avenue near 70th Street.

Pettit and club bouncers ejected the father of two and his friend, George Foreacre, 38, from the club for being drunk, according to testimony from the bouncers' October 2012 trial.

During that trial, bouncers Timothy Carpenter, Brendan Davis and Edwin Padua were acquitted of aggravated assault and all other charges related to Foreacre. The bouncers were not charged in Koons'death.

Later that month, a jury convicted Pettit of false reporting, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a separate trial. A mistrial was declared on counts of third-degree murder and reckless endangerment, the charges to which he pleaded guilty yesterday.

When sentenced in December, Pettit could face a maximum term of 20 to 40 years in prison on the murder count.

Foreacre testified that he and Koons were club regulars and had been drinking and cheering loudly while watching a Phillies playoff game when they were attacked.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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