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Brain Damage

NEWS
May 20, 2012
With each passing day, the list of plaintiffs filing concussion lawsuits against the NFL grows. At last check, more than 2,100 former players have filed suit against the league in 74 separate lawsuits, most of which have been consolidated in federal court in Philadelphia. By the end of the summer, the number of plaintiffs could exceed 3,000. The list of plaintiffs includes Hall of Famers like Lem Barney and Joe DeLamielleure and Rickey Jackson and Paul Krause, and Super Bowl MVPs like Mark Rypien and Dexter Jackson.
NEWS
May 14, 2012 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Buzz Bissinger has already called someone a moron on Twitter this day, but really, the virtuosic vitriol that has characterized his Twitter feed has been somewhat subdued lately. Instead, Bissinger is sitting on a chair in a family room off the kitchen of his house in Chestnut Hill and talking about stuff so personal, so self-flagellating, that it would make you gasp if it weren't comically shot through with F-bombs. Next to him is his son, Zach Bissinger, 28, well known to anyone who ever worked with Buzz at The Inquirer or met Zach through work or at a party where Zach walked up to you, introduced himself, and wanted to know who you were, what's your birthday, and whether you ever worked with Vernon Loeb or Steve Lopez or the other people known forever to him through his familial and personal connections in journalism.
NEWS
May 10, 2012 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer staff writer
Assistant District Attorney Richard Sax at times spoke directly to accused killer Donte Johnson in his closing argument Tuesday as he described the rape, beating, and eventual killing of Sabina Rose O'Donnell. "He took everything from her," Sax said as Johnson, 20, stared back intently, his jaw clenched, his face expressionless. "Her dignity, her womanhood, her freedom, her life. And you've given us back zero in terms of remorse or contrition. ... He gave us nothing. " Gary Server, Johnson's attorney, described Johnson in his closing argument as "feebleminded" and "one can short of a six-pack" — someone whose childlike brain did not know what he was doing when he confessed to the June 2010 killing.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2012 | By Larry Platt, Editor, Philadelphia Daily News
YOU PROBABLY haven't heard of him, but, among the insulated world of Philadelphia's journalistic and political cognoscenti, there's long been a very special celebrity, someone mayors and governors and editors and talking heads alike go out of their way not only to greet, but to befriend. He is perhaps the only Philadelphian beloved by both Democrats and Republicans, and by competing beat writers. He is not someone with a privileged position or a lot of power. He simply has a huge heart, a mischievous smile and an infectious way of looking at the world — and this makes people want him to like them.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Mensah M. Dean, Daily News Staff Writer
A PORTRAIT of Sabina Rose O'Donnell's alleged killer emerged in a Philadelphia courtroom Monday as a forensic psychologist explained the conclusions from a battery of tests he administered to Donte Johnson, who is on trial in the 2010 rape and murder of the Northern Liberties waitress. Gerald Cooke, the final defense witness, who was paid more than $9,300 in taxpayer money for his services, testified via video recorded last week that Johnson, 20, was likely born withbrain damage, the origin of which is unknown.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Mensah M. Dean, Daily News Staff Writer
DURING HIS closing argument Tuesday in the trial of Sabina Rose O'Donnell's alleged killer, a city prosecutor seized on DNA evidence that linked Donte Johnson to her 2010 rape and murder. A defense attorney, for his part, said that the "feeble-minded" Johnson may have been "one can short of a sixpack" but that he was not guilty. The arguments, delivered to a packed Philadelphia courtroom, were followed by jury instructions from Common Pleas Judge Glenn Bronson. The jury deliberated for about two hours before going home for the day. Johnson, 20, is accused of stalking the 20-year-old Northern Liberties waitress as she rode a borrowed bicycle home on Girard Avenue early on June 2, 2010.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Donte Johnson is 20 years old, but the way he thinks, communicates, and copes with problems is more in line with the mind of child, according to a forensic neuropsychologist who testified in Johnson's murder trial Monday. Johnson, accused in the June 2010 rape and slaying of Sabina Rose O'Donnell, has an IQ in the 70s, which places him on the borderline of what is considered "mentally retarded," said Gerald Cooke, who administered a series of tests to Johnson this year. "He's basically in that 11- to 12-year-old range in terms of his intellectual functioning," Cooke said.
NEWS
May 1, 2012 | By Mensah M. Dean, Daily News Staff Writer
In a low but steady voice, Donte Johnson on Monday rejected an offer from the District Attorney's Office to plead guilty and receive a life-without-parole prison sentence in the June 2010 rape and murder of Sabina Rose O'Donnell, the 20-year-old Northern Liberties woman whose slaying behind her apartment building rocked the trendy community. Johnson, 20, of 11th Street near Poplar, rejected the same offer in December 2010, when city prosecutors were talking about seeking the death penalty against him. They've since opted not to pursue the death penalty, which means Johnson, ironically, would face a life sentence if a jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder.
NEWS
April 28, 2012
William Lawlis Pace, 103, who held the Guinness World Record for living the longest with a bullet in his head, died in his sleep Monday at a Turlock, Calif., nursing home. His death came 94 years and six months after his older brother accidentally shot him with their father's .22-caliber rifle in 1917. Mr. Pace learned in 2006 that he had been crowned the world record-holder in the category of unwanted cranial ammunition. His son told a newspaper during a birthday party for his father last year that doctors in Mr. Pace's native Texas left the bullet in place because they worried that surgery might cause brain damage.
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