January 22, 2016 |
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman didn't waste time after receiving an email last fall from her predecessor, Bruce L. Castor Jr., outlining why he thought Bill Cosby had a legally binding agreement protecting him from prosecution for an alleged 2004 sexual attack. Within a day, Ferman replied, in a bid to settle the issue. She and her investigators had talked to lawyers for Cosby and his accuser, Andrea Constand, and neither had documentation of any deal, she wrote.
January 12, 2016 |
As he stood behind a podium to announce charges against Bill Cosby, Kevin Steele was not yet the Montgomery County District Attorney. But it was perhaps the biggest announcement of his career. Still, Steele stuck to a script, cutting off questions after 10 minutes. Later, he sent another prosecutor to represent the office at Cosby's arraignment, the first hearing in the case. It was clear he was a man with a lot on his plate. Formally sworn in last Monday, Steele is a quiet career prosecutor who colleagues say is more comfortable in the background than the spotlight.
January 4, 2016 |
Prosecutions are like snowflakes, no two the same. Sometimes, you have a low-profile drunken-driving case where the defendant is a first-time offender, the district attorney doesn't have too much skin in the game and is willing to offer a plea deal, and no one except the parties involved will ever know about it. And then there are those cases that catapult a prosecutor into the cable-news firmament, cementing his or her status as a legal and political...
January 2, 2016 |
A day after Bill Cosby was charged with sexual assault, his lawyers launched a campaign Thursday to discredit the case against him as false and politically motivated. The charges "fulfill a campaign promise" that prosecutor Kevin Steele made this fall while running to be Montgomery County district attorney, said Cosby's spokeswoman, Monique Pressley. That claim was part of the message Pressley delivered during a round of interviews on morning TV shows, decrying the prosecution of the 78-year-old actor and comedian as unsubstantiated, and foreshadowing possible defense arguments in court.
January 1, 2016
December 2001 : Andrea Constand begins work as director of operations for the Temple University women's basketball team. In that role, she meets renowned alumnus Bill Cosby, who becomes her mentor and friend. January 2004 : Constand visits Cosby's mansion in Cheltenham Township. There, prosecutors say, Cosby drugs Constand and sexually assaults her while she is unconscious. Constand later moves back to her native Canada. January 2005 : Constand reports the alleged incident to Cheltenham police.
December 28, 2015 |
Bruce L. Castor Jr. thrived on locking up criminals, once winning five first-degree murder convictions in a year. He spoke his mind. He fought with fellow Montgomery County commissioners who forged an alliance against him. He had ambitions of becoming governor. Now, Castor's action-packed career in public office is coming to a quiet close. The confident, spotlight-loving, cowboy-boot-wearing Republican lost a race this fall to return to his former position as district attorney.
December 23, 2015 |
A trio of former top officials from the Colwyn Borough fire company were charged Monday with theft and conspiracy after a 10-month investigation revealed that they stole more than $52,000 from their own organization. Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced felony charges against Gary Brice, 49, Station 92's former chief; Betty Cellini, 50, Brice's girlfriend and the company's former president; and Cellini's daughter, Lauren, 26, the company's former treasurer. On Monday afternoon, Brice was in custody after failing to post $50,000 bail.
December 20, 2015 |
A former Upper Darby Township detective, a 17-year veteran, has been charged with stealing narcotics from the evidence room to support his drug habit, officials announced Friday. Charges against Brad Ross, 41, of Aldan, included theft, receiving stolen property, and tampering with evidence. He was released after posting $50,000 bail. A hearing was set for Wednesday. Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said at a news conference that because of Ross' actions, his office had to throw out three cases, adding that Ross' thefts dated to 2012.
December 13, 2015 |
A Philadelphia judge on Friday denied an emergency motion to vacate the guilty verdict of Griffin Campbell - the demolition contractor in the deadly 2013 Center City building collapse - for what Campbell's lawyer argued was "selective racial prosecution. " Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson rejected defense lawyer William D. Hobson's motion on procedural grounds: Court rules require that such a motion be made before trial, not after the verdict. Bronson said he would permit Hobson to try to prove his allegation at a hearing after the 51-year-old North Philadelphia contractor is sentenced Jan. 8. Hobson filed his "motion for extraordinary relief" Thursday, contending that the county grand jury investigation that led to charges against Campbell and excavator operator Sean Benschop was supervised by Assistant District Attorney Frank Fina.
December 12, 2015 |
The lawyer for Griffin Campbell, the demolition contractor found guilty in the deadly 2013 Center City building collapse, filed an emergency motion Thursday asking that the verdict be overturned because of "selective racial prosecution. " At issue, defense lawyer William D. Hobson contends, is that the Philadelphia grand jury probe that led to charges against Campbell and excavator operator Sean Benschop was supervised by Assistant District Attorney Frank Fina. Fina is the former state prosecutor accused by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane of using government computers to swap pornography and racial and ethnic jokes among a group of fellow state prosecutors and state officials, including Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin.