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Confession

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NEWS
March 2, 1988 | By KURT HEINE, Daily News Staff Writer
The jury in the upcoming Harrison "Marty" Graham murder trial can hear the multiple-slaying suspect confessing to the strangling of seven women whose rotting corpses were found in his North Philadelphia den of death, a Common Pleas judge ruled today. Judge Robert A. Latrone said all of the prosecution's evidence, including Graham's confession, will be allowed at the trial. It was a defeat for the defense, which had sought to bar all of the police evidence. "For what condolence it might have for the defense, the question of the admissibility of the (Graham confession)
NEWS
June 4, 1986 | By Aaron Epstein, Inquirer Washington Bureau
The confession of an accomplice who cannot be cross-examined generally cannot be used to help convict a co-defendant, the Supreme Court declared yesterday in a 5-4 decision. The ruling reaffirmed - and possibly strengthened - a criminal defendant's constitutional right of confrontation. That right forces witnesses against the accused to submit to cross-examination, which the high court has called "the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth. " In the case decided yesterday, Millie R. Lee and her boyfriend, Edwin Thomas, were tried jointly before a judge for the 1982 double murder of her aunt and her aunt's friend in East St. Louis, Ill. Neither of them testified.
NEWS
March 18, 1997 | by Ron Avery, Daily News Staff Writer
Just because a jury rejects the validity of a confession, that's no reason to toss it into the trash. Yesterday, the same confession to the murder of jogger Kimberly Ernest that jurors rejected by acquitting Richard Wise, and his co-defendant, last Friday was used against Wise in court in an unrelated case. The prosecutor's tactic infuriated Wise's lawyer, Jack McMahon. "I never saw anything so lame," he said. Wise and co-defendant Herbert Haak were acquitted of the Ernest slaying in about three hours by a jury that apparently considered the confessions insufficient evidence.
NEWS
December 22, 1990 | By Erin Kennedy, Special to The Inquirer
Catherine Wells knew what she was doing when she confessed in August that she helped kill a man in his Worcester Township home eight years ago, a Montgomery County judge ruled yesterday. Montgomery County Court Judge Anita B. Brody yesterday denied a motion to suppress Wells' taped confession that she and a friend stabbed and suffocated Andre Lars Paschedag in 1982. Defense attorney Michael Cassidy had argued that Wells was under unusual stress when she confessed the killing to police on Aug. 1. Cassidy said Wells had had only two hours of sleep the night before the confession, had not eaten all day and had smoked marijuana and taken caffeine pills before she talked to police.
NEWS
June 3, 1986 | By KIT KONOLIGE, Daily News Staff Writer
So-called jailhouse witness Clark Greene testified yesterday that Wilfredo Santiago never confessed the murder of police officer Thomas Trench to him, contrary to the prosecution's claims in the arrest warrant. Under questioning by detectives last July 17, according to the prosecution, Greene claimed that while in the Detention Center Santiago had admitted killing Trench, who was found dead of two bullet wounds in his patrol car on 17th Street above Spring Garden at 3 a.m. on May 28, 1985.
NEWS
March 6, 1997 | by Ron Avery, Daily News Staff Writer
The jury listened intently as a homicide detective read a detailed confession he took from Richard Wise admitting the brutal beating and sexual assault of jogger Kimberly Ernest. The detective then maintained a stoic calm as Wise's fiery lawyer, Jack McMahon, sought to prove that the investigator had made up key parts of the confession. The confession came on Nov. 29, 1995, three weeks after Ernest's death, and just hours after co-defendant Herbert Haak, 26, signed a statement admitting a role in the murder but pointing to Wise as the actual killer.
NEWS
January 19, 1993 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
It seemed like the cops did everything right. Six-and-a-half hours after his arrest in a murder case, Ernest Goldsmith, 47, confessed to stabbing to death Michael Jones, 31, in the hallway of their Frankford apartment building on April 20, 1991. He had given a statement denying the crime, but finally agreed to confess. Before taking the second statement, cautious homicide cops asked Goldsmith if he would agree to waive his right to an arraignment within six hours of his arrest.
NEWS
April 22, 1988 | By Connie O'Kane, Special to The Inquirer
In a taped confession played for a Burlington County Superior Court jury yesterday, Thomas F. Forsythe said he shot a delicatessen manager twice in the face by mistake. "I didn't want to shoot her," Forsythe said. "I had the hammer back. I thought what I would do was just scare her if it came to that. " Forsythe, 26, of Hamilton Township, who is being tried for attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and other charges, said he only intended to grab the woman's pocketbook and flee after she arrived to open Bordentown's Glenbrook Delicatessen around 6 a.m. last April 28. Forsythe said that, when he came out from behind a partition in the back room, he thought the manager, Lucy B. Murray, 52, of Chesterfield Township, was in the front of the store.
NEWS
October 20, 1997 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
It hurt him to do it, the judge said, but he had to throw out the confession of an accused triple killer. The cops had violated the rights of Lamont Daniels, 24, by questioning him too long before advising him of his constitutional rights under the Miranda decision, said Common Pleas Judge Robert A. Latrone. The district attorney's office will be forced to drop all charges against Daniels. It had no other evidence to link him to the slayings of two young men and a 17-year-old girl on May 26, 1995.
NEWS
April 8, 1993 | By Larry King, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Less than two hours after a Norristown police officer was shot to death, Walter H.G. Baker sat with a pair of detectives and confessed to the crime. Both detectives later said they were struck by Baker's demeanor. "It amazed me how calm he was under the circumstances," Lt. Timothy Woodward, a Montgomery County homicide investigator, testified in court yesterday. With that same placid exterior, Baker yesterday told a Montgomery County Court judge that his confession had been coerced.
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NEWS
September 10, 2016 | By Mensah M. Dean, Staff Writer
On a chilly day in February, a Delaware man named James Barrow walked into a Newark, Del., police station and started talking about the evil he'd done in Philadelphia. Barrow, who is 30 and has been arrested more than a dozen times since becoming an adult, told investigators he had been hearing voices over his cellphone and felt overwhelmed with guilt, according to two criminal justice sources familiar with the case. When detectives got Barrow back to Philadelphia Police Headquarters, they recorded him on video recounting how he'd killed a man and a couple, and robbed 12 others.
NEWS
August 24, 2016 | By Jeff Gammage, Staff Writer
A defense lawyer on Monday called for Anthony Wright to be acquitted on rape and murder charges, citing the presence of another man's DNA in the victim's body and asking: "What better evidence could there be?" Samuel Silver addressed the jury for three hours as both defense and prosecution offered closing arguments. Wright, 44, is being retried in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court in the 1991 killing of 77-year-old Louise Talley in her Nicetown home. "This is not TV," Silver told the jury.
NEWS
August 18, 2016 | By Mensah M. Dean, Staff Writer
In a city that annually tallies several hundred murders, the slaying that Juan Camacho confessed to committing on May 9 stands out. Not that Camacho's calm demeanor at his preliminary hearing Tuesday, where he was held for trial on murder and related counts, gave any hint of the crimes he claimed to have committed against his estranged girlfriend, Veronica Rodriguez, 27. Those details came from the 911 calls he made to police just after 2...
NEWS
June 19, 2016 | By Stu Bykofsky
I WAS NOT there when my children were born. Well, I was there, but back then fathers were barred from the delivery room. I don't know if the doctors feared we'd pass out or just be a nuisance, but we were restricted to the waiting room (where smoking was allowed). Jump forward a few decades, and fathers are in the game - active participants as birth coaches and videographers. The sharing of the experience as a birth coach (I am told) is a supreme act of "togetherness. " Making a video of the birth - and posting it online - crosses a line for me. It erases a privacy zone that some people don't even recognize.
NEWS
February 9, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
People who have been stunned with Tasers may be unable to understand Miranda warnings - and more likely to waive their rights or even give false confessions - according to new research by a Drexel University professor. The study, the first randomized controlled trial of the weapons outside of manufacturer Taser International, found that the 50,000-volt shocks significantly impair brain function in the short term. "People who have just recently been tased run the risk of talking to police without the benefits of counsel and not understanding the consequences," said Robert Kane, Drexel criminology and justice studies professor.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 2015
WHAT I AM about to say may sound totally contradictory (it really isn't), but stop wasting your time going to the gym. OK, I've said it. Why, after more than 30 years of steady gym attendance, am I suggesting this? Well, after careful consideration, I realized that gym membership was costing a great deal more than I ever thought. I know it sounds crazy coming from a gym bunny like me, but, if we're perfectly honest, the gym doesn't work for the majority of people who have memberships.
NEWS
May 13, 2015 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
JASON SMITH choked up as he recounted his last moments as a free man, the moments before police stormed his family's Levittown home and arrested him for a grisly Southwest Center City murder of a doctor that he says he did not commit. Testifying in his own defense yesterday, Smith, 39, said he and his fiancee were in a bedroom putting their daughter, now 6, to sleep on the night of Jan. 23, 2013, when he heard banging at the door and police burst into the house and shot Tyson, the family's boxer, before handcuffing Smith.
NEWS
May 13, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bucks County exterminator Jason Smith took the witness stand in his defense Monday, denying that he strangled pediatrician Melissa Ketunuti and set her body on fire, and telling a Philadelphia jury that he confessed only after hours of badgering and being roughed up by a homicide detective. Defense attorney J. Michael Farrell opened his questioning of the 39-year-old Levittown man with the simple question: "Did you kill Dr. Ketunuti?" Smith's response was equally terse: "No, I did not. " Smith's testimony before a Common Pleas Court jury of six women and six men was essentially what he told police when arrested: "She was alive when I left her. " Whether Smith's story holds up - including that Homicide Detective Ohmarr P. Jenkins grabbed him by the shirt and slammed him several times against the wall during their five-hour interrogation - will become clearer Tuesday when he undergoes questioning from Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Selber and Peter Lim. After court Monday, Lim said Jenkins and the lead detective, Edward Tolliver, have denied using physical force during the questioning.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
They call themselves a family - one formed by the shared love of a friend. Melissa Ketunuti had lived far from her own family. So before she was killed in her adopted hometown, she had collected another one - with many branches. There's her college family. The ones who first encountered Ketunuti's passion for life and learning when she came from her native Thailand in 1995 to study neuroscience at Amherst College. The friends who celebrated each of her many successes, from her graduation from the Stanford School of Medicine to her surgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital to the prestigious scholarships that sent her to Botswana to do AIDS research.
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