May 12, 2013 |
CLEVELAND - The man accused of holding three women captive for a decade in his home terrorized the mother of his children, frequently beating her, playing twisted psychological games, and locking her indoors, her relatives say. Several relatives of Grimilda Figueroa, who left Ariel Castro years ago and died last year after a long illness, painted a nightmarish portrait of life with Castro. In interviews with the Associated Press, the relatives described Castro as a "monster" who abused his wife and locked his family inside their own home.
January 10, 1990 |
The final chapter to a duel under a warm June sun was written in Chester County Court yesterday, as a 22-year-old man was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for killing his former girlfriend's lover. Jason Jaye Welles pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and aggravated assault for the shotgun slaying in the middle of a Phoenixville street as neighbors looked on. Witnesses told police that Welles shot Michael Brockerman four times with a 12-gauge shotgun about 4:40 p.m. on June 6, the last three blasts coming as the 24-year-old Pottstown man lay prone on the street.
May 15, 2011 |
Year after year, polls show that about 60 percent of U.S. citizens support executing people convicted of murder. Until those citizens become jurors. An Inquirer analysis of almost 2,000 Pennsylvania homicide cases filed between Jan. 1, 2007, and Feb. 3 shows that just 3 percent of first-degree murder cases - the only charge for which capital punishment is possible - that went to a jury ended with the jury's choosing death. A third of all first-degree murder cases ended with a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole, the remainder with guilty verdicts on lesser degrees of homicide, guilty pleas, acquittals, or dismissal of charges.
February 4, 2010 |
One evening in August 2006, reputed drug kingpin Maurice Phillips confessed to his then-mistress, Chanell Cunningham, while they were lying in bed at her home, that he had killed a cooperating witness, Cunningham told a federal jury yesterday. Taking the stand for a second day, Cunningham testified that Phillips told her that he killed the witness, Chineta Glanville, in order to protect her. She said that Glanville's name came up after Phillips suspected that another drug dealer might be cooperating against him. Cunningham testified that Phillips remarked that he was going to "have to take care of that n-----.
May 11, 2013 |
CLEVELAND - Prosecutors said Thursday they may seek the death penalty against Ariel Castro, the man accused of imprisoning three women at his home for a decade, as police charged that he impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the belly. The allegations were contained in a police report that also said another woman, Amanda Berry, was forced to give birth in a plastic kiddie pool. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said his office will decide whether to bring aggravated-murder charges punishable by death in connection with the pregnancies that were terminated by force.
October 22, 2004 |
A former college football player at Lock Haven University was sentenced to life in prison because a jury could not agree on whether he deserved the death penalty for murdering the brother of an Olympic wrestler. The jury voted 7-5 in favor of the death penalty yesterday for Fabian Desmond Smart, of Clyo, Ga. Death sentences require a unanimous decision in Pennsylvania. Smart was convicted last week of the January 1999 murder of Jason McMann, the older brother of Olympic wrestler Sara McMann.
April 23, 2013 |
The death penalty is very much in play in the Boston bomber case, even though Massachusetts is one of more than a dozen states without capital punishment. The surviving bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was charged today, not under state law, but under federal law for using a weapon of mass destruction and for malicious destruction of property resulting in death. The Justice Department said that, if convicted, Tsarnaev could face the federal death penalty. Although such executions are rare, there are 59 people on federal death row. The final decision to seek the ultimate penalty belongs to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, as was explained by Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, following Tsarnaev's capture Friday night.
March 2, 2005 |
Justina Morley, the 15-year-old who lured a Fishtown teenager to his death in 2003, began to cry yesterday as she demonstrated how her alleged accomplices attacked Jason Sweeney with a hatchet and a hammer. Morley, now 16, testified that she feels remorse for the brutal slaying and for luring Sweeney to his death with the promise of sex. But in a jailhouse letter to Domenic Coia, one of the defendants, Morley wrote: "I am guilty. But I still don't feel guilty for anything.
July 1, 2011 |
Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner said he found the conclusion unfathomable: that a mother, however destitute, could purposely starve to death her infant over two months. But that is for a jury to decide, Lerner said Thursday in denying a defense request to remove first-degree murder from the charges against Tanya Williams, 33, accused of fatally starving one of her twin boys last year while they lived in a West Philadelphia homeless shelter. Defense attorney Gregory J. Pagano argued that at best, the case was third-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter, not first-degree - the premeditated and malicious killing of another.
January 21, 1993 |
The West Philadelphia food store owner was not only the cousin of a jailed enemy of the Junior Black Mafia, he was also the object of affection of a female companion of JBM boss Aaron Jones. That put Bruce Kennedy, 26, in serious jeopardy, a prosecutor said. And on Aug. 18, 1990, two enforcers of the drug syndicate pumped 10 bullets into him with an Uzi as he was making a steak sandwich at Kennedy's Mommie's Food Market, 54th Street near Master. Yesterday, a jury convicted Jones, 30, and two henchmen, Sam Brown, 29, and James Anderson, 21, of first-degree murder.