August 21, 2016 |
Authorities are looking for the man who set a fire at Branzino, a popular Italian BYOB near Rittenhouse Square. Investigators have determined that the July 26 blaze at 259 S. 17th St. was arson, and video surveillance shows a man inside and outside the restaurant before the fire started around 8:45 a.m., said Steve Bartholomew, a spokesman for the Philadelphia division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Bartholomew declined to say how the fire was set. Images show a man, dressed in dark clothes and wearing a hat, carrying a backpack.
April 16, 2016 |
Calling her "the neighbor from hell," a Montgomery County judge on Thursday sentenced a Lower Pottsgrove woman to 10 to 20 years in prison for burning down the house of a police officer who lived next door. "What kind of person does something so violent, so twisted?" County Court Judge Gary S. Silow wondered aloud as he handed down the punishment to Donna Krupp. If Silow expected an answer, it wasn't coming from Krupp. She maintained her innocence throughout her trial and, given the chance Thursday, expressed no remorse.
April 8, 2016 |
A juror who became emotionally upset, "hyperventilating, popping pills," was dismissed Wednesday from the panel that is deciding whether Daniel Dougherty set the fire that killed his two young sons in 1985. The juror told the others they were "going to cause her to have a nervous breakdown," the jury said in a note to the judge. A second note said, "We are at a stalemate on the charge of arson. " Both missives were sent to Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge J. Scott O'Keefe late Tuesday, and revealed in court Wednesday.
April 7, 2016 |
After declaring they were deadlocked, the jurors deciding whether Daniel Dougherty killed his two young sons in a 1985 fire continued their deliberations Tuesday at the prompting of the judge. The jury begins its fifth day of discussions Wednesday, the 13th day in the retrial of a case first brought in 2000. If the jury remains at a stalemate and a mistrial is declared, Dougherty could face a third trial on the same arson and murder charges. His case is being closely watched by defense experts who say outdated fire science has put innocent people in jail.
April 3, 2016 |
Sixteen years ago, a jury took less than three hours to convict Daniel Dougherty of murdering his two young sons by setting the family home on fire. A new jury, now hearing his retrial, has deliberated for a day and a half and returns to continue its discussions on Monday. It was a tense day in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court on Friday, as Judge J. Scott O'Keefe responded to jury matters both straightforward and enigmatic. A puzzle emerged in midafternoon: A court crier, who described what occurred under oath, said he answered a knock on the jury door - and the foreman immediately said there was a problem involving one juror.
April 3, 2016
A body of a person who was shot to death was found in the basement of a house that apparently was intentionally set ablaze Friday night in Nicetown. Firefighters were called shortly after 7 p.m. to the 1900 block of West Bristol Street to battle the house fire and placed it under control at 7:25 p.m. Afterward, firefighters found the body of the shooting victim in the basement, said Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer. Police were investigating. - Robert Moran
April 2, 2016 |
Why, defense lawyer David Fryman asked a jury Thursday, did police wait 14 years to charge Daniel Dougherty with setting the 1985 fire that killed his two young sons? Only hours after the Oxford Circle blaze, investigators had interviewed the witnesses and determined that the cause was arson. The case, supposedly, Fryman said, was murder - the horrendous killing of two little boys, in their bed, by their own father. Then why did they wait? They waited, Fryman said, because they had doubt.
April 1, 2016 |
All that remains for Daniel Dougherty are the lawyers' closing arguments and the decision of the jury. After that, he'll either be set free after 16 years, or returned to prison, condemned again for the 1985 arson murder of his two young sons. Dougherty, 56, told the judge on Wednesday that he would not testify in his own defense. He said he did not know if he had ever been diagnosed with a mental illness, but had sought treatment after the deaths of 3-year-old John and 4-year-old Daniel Jr. Questioned by Common Pleas Court Judge J. Scott O'Keefe, Dougherty said he understood all that occurred during his trial.
March 31, 2016 |
Philadelphia fire investigators had no scientific basis to conclude that a 1985 rowhouse fire in Oxford Circle was arson, a defense expert testified about the blaze that killed two boys and sent their father to death row for their murder. Nationally known fire consultant John Lentini said that when he heard that a city fire marshal, and then a second, had identified three separate points of origin for the fire, "I said, 'He must be magic, because it can't be done.' " The fire, he said Tuesday in Common Pleas Court, could have started from a smoldering cigarette.
March 30, 2016 |
A photo of a singed-but-standing box of Frosted Flakes helped reveal the three-decade-old circumstances of a fatal rowhouse fire in Oxford Circle, a prosecution expert testified Monday. The condition of the box and its position in the kitchen helped determine the fire's path, consultant and former Philadelphia Fire Marshal Thomas Schneiders said, among factors that proved investigators got it right in 1985 when they said the blaze that killed brothers Daniel Dougherty Jr., 4, and John Dougherty, 3, was deliberately set. Their father, Daniel Dougherty, was convicted and sentenced to death for murder and arson in 2000.