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NEWS
December 11, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Maurice Gibbs said he was playing cards with friends outside a Bartram Village apartment on Aug. 20, 2012, when a childhood friend, Rafael Jones, walked up. Gibbs said the only thing more surprising than seeing a friend he had not seen in almost seven years was what Jones said after drawing him aside: that he had killed a police officer. "Did you see or hear anything about a cop killing on the news?" Gibbs said Jones asked him. "I said, 'No, I don't watch TV,' " Gibbs said.
NEWS
December 8, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
AND ON THE second day, the city said, "Thou shalt not go to trial. " Yesterday, the District Attorney's Office dropped the charges against local icon Philly Jesus, his attorney said. Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the DA's Office, confirmed that prosecutors decided not to pursue the two summary offenses lobbied against the roving preacher. The announcement came two days after Philly Jesus - a/k/a Michael Grant, 28, a recovering heroin addict who now lives to spread the Gospel - pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, charges stemming from his arrest in LOVE Park on Nov. 14. Charles Gibbs, Grant's attorney, said his client was "ecstatic" at hearing the DA's decision.
NEWS
November 23, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Coatesville Area School District has suspended its assistant superintendent and a custodial supervisor. Officials would not discuss the suspensions of the assistant superintendent, Angelo Romaniello, and supervisor Matt Como, but the moves come as the Chester County district continues to grapple with the fallout from investigations - both internally and by the district attorney - into its management. Romaniello served as interim superintendent last year after the resignation of Superintendent Richard Como in the wake of the discovery of racist and sexist text messages on his district-issued phone.
NEWS
November 21, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Bruce L. Castor Jr., then the Montgomery County district attorney, decided not to file sexual-assault charges against the comedian Bill Cosby in 2005, it wasn't because he didn't believe the woman who said Cosby had drugged and groped her. "Now I can say I thought he did it," Castor said in an interview Wednesday. "But back then, I would have been accused of tainting the jury that was going to hear the civil case. " Castor's revelation was not entirely new. Since leaving the District Attorney's Office, he has said that he believed a crime occurred but that there was not enough evidence to win a conviction.
NEWS
November 15, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA & MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writers vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
NOBODY ON Sparks Street in Olney speaks about Rodney Ramseur. His family still lives in the corner house where he grew up, but it's as if he never existed. Ramseur, who would have turned 24 last month, was gunned down on his front porch in May 2012. It's unknown who pulled the trigger, but it's clear why he was targeted: Six days earlier, he had testified in a homicide case involving a childhood friend. Similarly, four months earlier, Reina Aguirre Alonso, a witness in another homicide case, was executed: An assassin walked into the corner store where she worked at Mutter and Westmoreland streets in North Philly and shot her four times at point-blank range.
NEWS
November 4, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THE PHILADELPHIA couple charged with causing the 2011 death of a 9-month-old boy by injecting him with cocaine and heroin, pleaded guilty yesterday instead of selecting a jury. Milton Galarza-Rojas had needle track marks on his hands and feet on July 26 when paramedics found him unresponsive inside an apartment on North 7th Street near Wingohocking, where the couple was baby-sitting him. Although Milton was pronounced dead at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children within 30 minutes of being found, it would be months before toxicology tests confirmed that he had died from being given drugs.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia police officer already charged with assaulting another officer - a woman he was dating - has been arrested on charges of violating a protection-from-abuse order. Kenneth Allen, 24, a three-year veteran of the force assigned to the 18th District, was charged with two counts of violating a protection-from-abuse order, the District Attorney's Office said in a statement Thursday. He was arraigned Wednesday night, and his bail was set at $15,000. Allen was initially arrested Oct. 3 and charged with three counts of aggravated assault and four counts of simple assault and reckless endangerment in four separate alleged assaults on his girlfriend.
NEWS
October 15, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Coatesville Area School District's board appointed its new solicitor Monday night as a replacement for the former solicitor under investigation by the Chester County district attorney. The school district announced the appointment last week, but the 8-1 public vote at the special meeting made it official. The county District Attorney's Office is investigating former Solicitor James Ellison in the possible overbilling of the school district. District Attorney Thomas Hogan said in August that his office was nearing the end of its investigation into district finances.
NEWS
October 11, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Coatesville Area School District's board has chosen a new solicitor to replace the one who has been under investigation by the Chester County district attorney for months, the superintendent said Thursday. The District Attorney's Office is investigating James Ellison in connection with possible overbilling and defrauding taxpayers. The district will hold a public vote at a special meeting Monday to appoint Mike Levin and his firm, Levin Legal Group, based in Montgomery County, Superintendent Cathy Taschner said in a statement.
NEWS
October 4, 2014 | By Vernon Clark and Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writers
Two Philadelphia firefighters were charged Thursday with separate crimes - one with kidnapping and sexual assault while impersonating a police officer, and the other with assaulting his pregnant ex-wife and her boyfriend. Lt. Jemal Johnson, 45, an 18-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department, was arrested after a 48-year-old woman alleged that she was forced to perform a sex act on him late Wednesday night. Johnson was driving his Nissan pickup truck at 13th and Ruscomb Streets in the city's Logan section around 10:30 p.m. when he pulled over and began questioning a woman who had just left a friend's home, said Police Lt. John Stanford, a department spokesman.
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