March 2, 1988 |
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)
June 4, 1986 |
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.
March 18, 1997 |
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.
December 22, 1990 |
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.
June 3, 1986 |
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.
March 6, 1997 |
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.
January 19, 1993 |
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.
April 22, 1988 |
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.
October 20, 1997 |
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.
April 8, 1993 |
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.