August 16, 2016
Two women were charged Sunday with child endangerment after they left an infant in the backseat of a sweltering car while they shopped at a Bensalem Target. Authorities said the 1-year-old spent about 15 minutes inside the vehicle, where temperatures had reached more than 115 degrees, before an off-duty Philadelphia police officer spotted the child and using a tool managed to pry the door open. He was tending to the child when police arrived at the store on Rockhill Drive about 3:30 p.m. Katia Hernandez, the child's aunt, and Patricia Diaz, the child's grandmother, said they forgot the infant, police said.
July 22, 2016 |
An Overbrook woman who police say admitted punching her 3-year-old son in the stomach in anger after he messed up the bathroom has been ordered to stand trial on murder charges. "I didn't think I hit him hard enough to do that," said Isabeth Cruz, according to Homicide Detective Joseph Bamberski, who testified Wednesday at her preliminary hearing. Bamberski said that during her May 5 questioning, Cruz said her son, Christian Torruellas, had defecated in his pants and then went into the bathroom, where he made a mess trying to clean himself.
July 17, 2016 |
A judge lowered bail Friday for Savilla Stoltzfus, the jailed mother of a teenager found living in a Bucks County home with a man accused of raping and fathering children with her, but her attorney said she will stay in prison. Bucks County Court Judge Jeffrey L. Finley reduced bail from $1 million to $250,000. Stoltzfus would have to post 10 percent to get out of jail. "It's still too high," said Craig Penglase, her attorney, saying Stoltzfus did not have "any financial resources.
April 10, 2016 |
The judge said the presentencing report describing Edward Golphin's childhood was "one of the worst I've ever seen. " Born to a crack-addicted mother, no father present, sexually molested - and regularly beaten with a belt, hangers, and shoes - it was surprising that Golphin had no juvenile arrest record, said his lawyer, Michael E. Wallace. But ultimately, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley agreed with the prosecutor that she had to deal with the man Golphin is, and not the abused child he was. On Friday, she sentenced him to 52 1/2 to 105 years in prison for the two years of beatings that killed 4-year-old Seanita Brown.
December 18, 2015
A Mayfair man was held for trial Wednesday on third-degree murder and child endangerment in the April 25 shaking death of his 3-month-old daughter. According to testimony at the preliminary hearing in Philadelphia Municipal Court, James Foster, 25, called 911 at 5:25 a.m. on April 25 reporting that his daughter, Savannah Foster, had stopped breathing after she appeared to gag on milk and he shook her twice. But Sylvester Juaquee, an inmate who met Foster shortly after his arrest, said Foster told him he killed his daughter because he was angry at his wife for leaving him with the baby, who would not stop crying.
November 15, 2015 |
A mentally ill South Philadelphia man who pleaded guilty to fatally shaking his crying 7-week-old son and throwing him to the floor was sentenced Friday to 15 to 30 years in prison. Christopher L. Miller's sentence drew gasps from his family and tears from his father, Robert Berry, who has pledged his support when Miller is released from prison. April O'Conner, Miller's girlfriend and the mother of the dead baby, rushed from the courtroom sobbing. She had described Miller as "the most wonderful person.
September 6, 2015 |
The parents of a disabled 3-year-old girl who was starved to death while living in a garbage-filled, vermin-infested West Oak Lane house each were sentenced Friday to 30 to 60 years in prison. Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd told Carlos Rivera and Carmen Ramirez that he could not let passion influence his sentence, and credited both for pleading guilty in the face of what would have effectively been life sentences. But the veteran homicide judge could not filter the passion and outrage from his voice when addressing the condition in which the dead girl and her four siblings lived.
May 27, 2015 |
A 2014 federal audit of 20 government-subsidized child-care facilities in Pennsylvania found 17 of them had serious health and safety hazards, administrative violations, or performed incomplete background checks. Only three sites were in compliance with Child Care and Development Block Grant standards; the others logged as many as 16 violations apiece. Among the violations were broken glass in play areas, an unfenced pool, moldy toilets and leaking ceilings, and the concealing of criminal charges, including child endangerment, against one of the operators.
April 29, 2015 |
The landmark child-endangerment conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn - the first Catholic Church official found guilty for his role supervising priests in the clergy sex-abuse scandal - was reinstated Monday by Pennsylvania's Supreme Court. Writing for the 4-1 majority of the state's high court, Justice Max Baer said Superior Court erred when it reversed Lynn's conviction because he did not directly supervise children. At issue was whether a 2007 amendment to the child-endangerment statute, which specifically included supervisory personnel as open to criminal culpability, expanded the original 1995 law or simply clarified it. If the amendments just expanded the law, Lynn would have been unconstitutionally convicted for acts that predated the amendments.
March 28, 2015 |
A state Superior Court panel upheld this week the prison sentences of a Catholic priest and former parochial-school teacher convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy from Northeast Philadelphia. The Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero, a former St. Jerome teacher, were sentenced by a Common Pleas Court judge in June 2013 for abuse that occurred in the late 1990s. Their lawyers appealed, contending prosecutorial misconduct and citing new evidence. Engelhardt died Nov. 15, 2014, just weeks after his appeal was heard.