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April 16, 1991 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Minnesota Vikings kicker Donald Igwebuike pumped his fists in the air and broke into tears yesterday when a federal jury in Tampa, Fla., acquitted him in a scheme to import $1 million worth of heroin from his native Nigeria. Igwebuike, the first NFL player ever charged in a heroin-related case, could have faced up to 120 years in a federal prison and $6 million in fines if convicted of conspiracy and drug importation. "It's been rough - I went through hell," a teary-eyed Igwebuike said as he puffed a victory cigar outside the federal courthouse.
NEWS
July 11, 1997 | By Erin Einhorn, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A Bucks County jury swiftly rejected charges against a former Bucks County prison inmate who was accused of harassing a prison guard with late-night phone calls after her release from custody. During a brief trial Wednesday, a female prison guard described how her 15-year-old daughter answered the phone at 11:45 p.m. Oct. 27 to hear a woman, identifying herself as "Kathy," making inappropriate sexual remarks. The guard grabbed the phone and said she recognized the voice on the other end as that of Kathy Phillips, a former inmate whom she knew from the jail.
NEWS
January 10, 1986 | By Maida Odom, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Huntingdon Valley physician was acquitted yesterday by a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury of charges that he raped an emergency-room patient at Germantown Hospital. But the jurors, who began deliberating Monday, said they were deadlocked on charges of indecent exposure and indecent assault against Dr. Stuart Miller, 34, of the 3900 block of Berton Road. According to testimony at the trial, which began Dec. 10 before Judge John Chiovero, Miller was giving a registered nurse from Mount Airy a vaginal examination when he allegedly raped her. The victim, who said she had gone to Germantown Hospital because she was having stomach pains, was on an examining table with her feet in stirrups when the doctor began giving her what he termed a "bimanual examination.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
David Williams always said it was self-defense, even though he left behind two bodies in the Tioga rowhouse and set it on fire. On Wednesday, in its fifth day of deliberations, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury agreed, acquitting Williams, 26, of two counts of murder but finding him guilty of risking a catastrophe for the fire he set in the kitchen of the house in the 1700 block of Erie Avenue. Williams agreed to be immediately sentenced, and Judge Glenn B. Bronson imposed a 31/2- to 7-year prison term.
NEWS
May 24, 2010
A Philadelphia judge on Monday acquitted six New York City antiwar protesters charged criminally Sept. 12 in a demonstration outside the U.S. Army's high-tech Army Experience Center at Franklin Mills Mall. Defense attorney Paul J. Hetznecker said Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon acquitted the six of charges of conspiracy and failure to disperse during a protest by about 200 demonstrators at the Army exhibit and recruiting center. Hetznecker said video of the six activists showed them disbanding and leaving before they were arrested.
NEWS
June 28, 1996 | By Jennifer Van Doren, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A Bucks County jury yesterday rejected a teenager's claims that starting when she was 11 years old, she repeatedly performed oral sex on her neighbor in exchange for cigarettes and permission to drive his black Cougar sports car. Howard Born, 39, maintained that he never had sexual contact with the girl, now 16, whose name is being withheld by the Inquirer. He testified he thought she had fabricated the charges to get back at him because she thought he called police on her and her boyfriend.
NEWS
October 23, 1995 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
The judge got the picture, and acquitted two accused drug dealers of sales and conspiracy charges last week. Defense lawyer Daniel M. Preminger produced photos of the area of 49th Street and Baltimore Avenue, and argued that it was impossible for a police officer to have seen drug transactions from the spot he said he was on March 14, 1994. "The building line is too far out," the attorney said. Preminger also showed that most of the $338 found on his client, Saleem Sisco, 42, of 58th Street near Ellsworth, came from a disability check for $316 he had cashed that day. When Common Pleas Judge Howland W. Abramson cleared co-defendant Vanessa Hunter, 38, of Walton Avenue near 48th Street, he noted that the arresting officer had not written down Hunter's alleged admission to selling drugs.
NEWS
October 26, 1996 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
The "law of the street" won out yesterday, a prosecutor contended, when a city judge acquitted two youths in a drug-related murder case. Common Pleas Judge C. Darnell Jones said he had "no choice" but to acquit Ahmed Holmes, 17, of 43rd Street near Pennsgrove, and Alfred Garfield, 20, of 43rd Street near Westminster Avenue, of murder, conspiracy and weapons charges. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said prosecution witnesses who had told police that Holmes and Garfield were part of a gang that shot and killed Donyell Davis, 21, on Ogden Street near 41st, in April 1995, had changed their stories in court.
NEWS
June 30, 1997 | By Erin Einhorn, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Just before 1 a.m. Nov. 5, Joseph Potzer was in a back bedroom with his girlfriend, he said, when a barrage of bullets in quick succession riddled his house and car. Although police found a machine gun and four other weapons in the house and a gun holster on his shoulder, Potzer denied that he was the one who opened fire that morning, rousing seven of his Levittown neighbors to call 911 in a panic. His girlfriend, now his wife, Vivian Martin, also denied that she was involved, though police found spent bullet casings in her pockets.
NEWS
August 19, 1993 | By Christopher Durso, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
An Aston man accused of fondling a 7-year-old girl eight years ago was acquitted after a one-day, non-jury trial in Delaware County Court yesterday. Minutes after hearing closing arguments from attorneys, Judge Joseph Battle found John R. Patrick, 65, of the 4700 block of Park Lane, not guilty of indecent assault and corrupting the morals of children. Patrick, a retired Bell Telephone employee and former bus driver with the Garnet Valley School District, was charged in January with fondling the girl, now 15, on various occasions at his home in 1985 and 1986.
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NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Six members of an elite Philadelphia narcotics squad were acquitted Thursday of federal corruption charges - a verdict the men described as "vindication" after nearly a decade of federal scrutiny surrounding their conduct. A jury of six men and six women took 51/2 days to reject prosecutors' arguments that former Officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser routinely beat and robbed drug suspects during their time as members of the Narcotics Field Unit.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY MORGAN ZALOT & BOB STEWART, Daily News Staff Writers zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
SIX EX-NARCOTICS officers accused of going rogue and robbing suspected drug dealers during a six-year reign of terror walked out of federal court yesterday as free men after a jury acquitted them of all charges at the end of a six-week trial. Relatives of the former Narcotics Field Unit cops - Thomas Liciardello, 38; Michael Spicer, 47; Brian Reynolds, 43; Perry Betts, 47; Linwood Norman, 47; and John Speiser, 42 - packed into the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno to hear the verdict, which came just after 11 a.m. They erupted into cheers and tears of joy after the jury foreman answered "not guilty" to each of the 26 counts against the men. Some of the officers faced more counts than others, but the charges against them included racketeering conspiracy, robbery, use of excessive force and falsifying police reports.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
David Williams always said it was self-defense, even though he left behind two bodies in the Tioga rowhouse and set it on fire. On Wednesday, in its fifth day of deliberations, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury agreed, acquitting Williams, 26, of two counts of murder but finding him guilty of risking a catastrophe for the fire he set in the kitchen of the house in the 1700 block of Erie Avenue. Williams agreed to be immediately sentenced, and Judge Glenn B. Bronson imposed a 31/2- to 7-year prison term.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Washington Township police officer charged in connection with what prosecutors deemed an illegitimate arrest of an assemblyman in 2012 has been found not guilty on all counts. A 12-member jury cleared Joseph DiBuonaventura on 14 charges early Tuesday, the second day of deliberations. DiBuonaventura's charges - which included tampering with records, falsifying records, and official misconduct - stemmed from the July 2012 afternoon traffic stop and arrest of Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty (D., Gloucester)
NEWS
January 11, 2015 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Darby Township police officer was acquitted Friday of charges that he stalked and kidnapped two women he had stopped in separate incidents. But the Delaware County Court jury, which deliberated about three hours, found him guilty of three lesser charges, including abuse of power. Judge Mary Alice Brennan placed Christopher Scott, 36, of Wallingford, accused of soliticting sex from the 23-year-old women, on electronic home monitoring until sentencing in April. Scott cried as the verdicts were read.
NEWS
December 24, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Moments after his acquittal during the summer in a sweeping federal ticket-fixing case, a defiant Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael J. Sullivan said: "As far as I am concerned, I was indicted for doing my job. " Now, state judicial authorities hope to block him from ever returning to that post. On Monday, the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board filed its own charges against Sullivan, 50, saying the court's culture of cronyism depicted at his trial undermined public confidence in the judicial system.
NEWS
November 12, 2014 | By Alfred Lubrano and Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writers
A Common Pleas Court jury Monday found former Philadelphia Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth not guilty of aggravated assault on a longtime girlfriend. The jury found DeCoatsworth not guilty of recklessly endangering another person, but guilty of simple assault. DeCoatsworth, 28, dressed in a black suit and burgundy dress shirt, was stoic as the verdict was announced, and smiled as he hugged family members. He declined to describe how the felt about the verdict, but said he and his family were confident that the aggravated assault charge "was never going to be an issue.
NEWS
November 11, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A JURY yesterday acquitted three men accused of conspiring to lie to federal authorities in a case that involved birds, a bridge and an illegal immigrant. As the jury forewoman read "not guilty" verdicts, the mother and sister of lead defendant Nikolaos Frangos wept in the gallery, and Frangos thrust his arm forward in a cheer. His attorney, Bill DeStefano, said after the verdicts: "These guys did not do anything wrong or illegal. It's a shame they had to suffer through this trial.
NEWS
August 11, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
They sat in silent judgment for nearly two months as federal prosecutors laid bare one of the city's long-standing bastions of cronyism. But after acquitting five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges accused in a wide-ranging, ticket-fixing conspiracy three weeks ago, the jurors who decided their fate want to make one thing absolutely clear: "We hated to see those guys walk," said Mark Nagle, 57, an electronics technician known in court...
NEWS
June 19, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In an rare ruling from the bench, a Philadelphia judge on Tuesday acquitted an East Mount Airy man of vehicular homicide and involuntary manslaughter in a car-bike crash that killed an off-duty police officer who was his romantic rival. Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian H. Ransom's acquittal of Kareem Alleyne in the July 15, 2012, death of 35-year-old Marc Brady came after three days of testimony and moments after the prosecution case ended. Alleyne, 36, a tall, thin man dressed in a business suit, bent over to embrace his defense attorney, James Funt.
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