August 31, 2016 |
With jury selection set to start next Tuesday in the civil trial surrounding the deadly 2013 Center City building collapse, a Philadelphia judge has barred the parties and their lawyers from speaking to reporters for the duration of the proceedings. The gag order, requested by an unidentified number of lawyers in what is certain to be one of the most closely watched Philadelphia civil trials in decades, was signed Friday by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina "in consideration of ensuring a fair trial.
June 26, 2016 |
Writing from the Pennsylvania prison where he is serving three consecutive life terms, former West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and the Daily News. The 14-page typed document, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, contends that public comments by Williams and Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron, and two 2015 articles in the Daily News, "compromised [Gosnell's]
June 10, 2016 |
LAWYERS FOR real estate speculator Richard Basciano have asked to move the Sept. 6 civil trial in the deadly Center City building collapse outside Southeastern Pennsylvania, saying local media coverage "has been so extensive, sustained, inflammatory, and inculpatory" that Basciano could not get a fair trial. The 93-page petition to change the venue of the trial was filed Monday with Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein by veteran Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague. Sprague's firm represents Basciano and several of his corporate entities, property manager Thomas Simmonds, and Frank Cresci, Basciano's ex-chief financial officer.
March 13, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - Montgomery County prosecutors said Friday that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane can receive a fair trial in the county despite her claim that the entire bench there could be biased against her. In a 42-page filing, county District Attorney Kevin R. Steele fought Kane's request last week that a judge from outside Montgomery County be appointed to preside over her criminal trial, scheduled to begin Aug. 8. Kane has alleged...
March 6, 2016 |
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane asked Friday that a judge from outside Montgomery County be appointed to preside over her criminal trial there, saying the entire county bench could be biased against her. Her lawyers argued that the judge assigned to the case, Wendy Demchick-Alloy, as well as the other judges in the county, were too close to three county judges who the attorneys said are plainly hostile to Kane. Those judges, the lawyers said, are William Carpenter, Carolyn Carluccio, and Risa Vetri Ferman.
March 5, 2016 |
Calling it an "intolerable mistake" but not a prosecution attempt to subvert a fair trial, a city judge has refused to bar the retrial of a North Philadelphia man whose 2007 death sentence was invalidated because of a mix-up in DNA evidence. Lawyers for Kareem Johnson, 31, argued Thursday that the DNA mix-up that resulted in his death sentence in the 2002 shooting of Walter Smith was so egregious that retrial should be barred under the Constitution's "double jeopardy" provision, which bars successive trials for the same conduct.
May 11, 2015 |
DURING GRAPHIC testimony yesterday, a former Philadelphia deputy medical examiner snaked a belt around prosecutor Peter Lim's neck, demonstrating for a jury how he believes Dr. Melissa Ketunuti's killer tightened a leather belt around her neck before setting her body on fire. Dr. Gary Collins, now Delaware's chief medical examiner, testified for the prosecution on the third day of trial for 39-year-old Jason Smith. Smith is the exterminator accused of killing Ketunuti, 35, before binding her neck, wrists and ankles and setting her body ablaze Jan. 21, 2013 when he visited her Southwest Center City rowhouse to address a rodent problem.
January 19, 2015 |
THERE WAS PLENTY of hand-wringing and eye-rolling in Common Pleas Court yesterday as Judge Gwendolyn Bright and accused serial stalker John Hart snapped at each other during a series of withering exchanges. Imagine what'll happen when Hart's trial actually gets underway next week. Hart, 38, is accused of stalking, harassing and stealing the identity of CBS3 anchor Erika von Tiehl in the wake of a brief, ill-fated relationship in 2011. Judge Bright and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Katona both seemed to expect that the trial would begin yesterday, after a handful of alternate jurors were selected.
October 30, 2014 |
Citing newly discovered evidence and errors made at trial, lawyers for a Catholic priest and a former parochial-school teacher jailed for sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy made their case to an appellate panel Tuesday for overturning the men's convictions. Attorneys Burton A. Rose, representing former St. Jerome teacher Bernard Shero, and Michael McGovern, representing the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, alleged prosecutorial misconduct and "abuse of discretion on the part of the trial judge" who sentenced the men to prison terms in June 2013 for abuse that occurred in the late 1990s.