March 1, 2013 |
A special operation to curb violence in Norristown helped authorities arrest a second suspect in a recent slaying and could lead to other homicide cases being solved. Andrew Tomlinson, 18, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, robbery, and other offenses in the Feb. 11 killing of Andrew Polen, 25, of West Norriton, Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono and Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said. Polen was one of two passengers in a car of a friend when they were targeted for robbery in Norristown, authorities said.
January 13, 2013 |
The revival of a working relationship with a Philadelphia law firm is giving the Montgomery County district attorney's staff a boost. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which has an international practice, is lending free legal support to District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman's office. Eleven lawyers from the firm's litigation division were sworn in recently as special assistant district attorneys. Eventually, 20 of the firm's newer lawyers will be involved with criminal proceedings that include assisting at preliminary hearings, violation of probation and parole hearings, and, possibly, trials.
January 12, 2012 |
A teacher at a Montgomery County middle school has been charged with indecent assault in connection with alleged inappropriate touching of students. William Schellinger, 42, a Spanish teacher at Colonial Middle School in Plymouth Township, was initially accused of improper behavior in October and placed on paid leave. According to the Montgomery County District Attorney, Shellinger "initiated inappropriate contact" with five boys ranging in age from 15 to 18. The boys were tutored or mentored by Schellinger when the contact occurred, said D.A. Risa Vetri Ferman.
May 19, 2012 |
A Montgomery County assistant district attorney has been fired after "serious discrepancies" were discovered in the unit she oversaw, according to the Prosecutor's Office. Karen Grace Ricca, who oversaw the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition unit (ARD), was terminated Thursday during a regularly scheduled meeting of the county's salary board. No official reason was given and efforts to reach Ricca were unsuccessful. ARD is a pretrial program for first-time nonviolent offenders who agree to certain conditions and are closely supervised by the courts.
June 8, 2011 |
A Montgomery County police officer fatally shot his 17-year-old son when the teen attacked him with a hunting knife Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. Stephen Schmitz, who attended North Penn Senior High School, was shot in his Towamencin Township home by his father, Eric B. Schmitz, 56, a lieutenant with the Hatfield Township Police Department, authorities said. Authorities did not identify the teen, but friends confirmed it was Stephen Schmitz. Before officials even acknowledged his death, a Facebook memorial page had been created for the teen.
October 6, 1997 |
A Montgomery County prosecutor has lashed out at defense motions filed on behalf of a former Norristown police officer accused of sexual assault that seek to make an issue of the two women's sexual histories. "It's a very pathetic and desperate attempt to blacken the character of two victims of a very serious crime," said Assistant District Attorney Risa V. Ferman. Claude LaCombe, 28, was fired from the Norristown Police Department Feb. 5. He is scheduled to go on trial today on charges including attempted rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
April 13, 2012 |
Officials in Montgomery County announced criminal charges today against a Philadelphia man who was shot by police Monday as he allegedly reached for an officer's gun during an arrest in Springfield Township. District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman identified the suspect as Isaac Michael Holmes, 32, of Murdoch Road. The police officers involved in the incident were not identified. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound man was charged with aggravated assault, criminal trespass, disarming a law enforcement officer and related offenses.
August 25, 2013 |
The former treasurer of a Montgomery County nonprofit fire department has been charged with stealing nearly $250,000 from the organization and using the money to fly to China and Las Vegas and to buy jewelry, spa visits, and tickets to sporting events. Montgomery County detectives charged Ronald Kenneth Nolan on Thursday with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, misapplication of entrusted property, and related offenses in the theft from the Upper Gwynedd Township Volunteer Fire Company.
April 9, 2013 |
Montgomery County officials say a new state wiretapping law helped them take down a "notorious drug dealer" who sold large quantities of marijuana in Norristown and elsewhere. At a news conference Monday, District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman displayed about 50 pounds of marijuana, stacks of cash, two semiautomatic handguns, and numerous cellphones seized last month from Ryan Gavlick and his alleged associates. Gavlick, 26, of Pottstown, and alleged supplier Jason Bishop, 38, of Philadelphia, were arrested March 8 in Upper Merion, after weeks of wiretaps and surveillance by county narcotics detectives.
May 24, 2013 |
The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and its law enforcement partners have been confiscating a lot of marijuana lately - nearly $15 million of it, actually, in an investigation called Operation: Weed Whacker. District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced Thursday the dismantling of a major marijuana trafficking ring that saw 3,673 pounds of marijuana - with a street value in Pennsylvania of $14.7 million - shipped in from January to April by a California supplier. It was sent to a pair of Philadelphia-area brothers, who allegedly then sold the drug to dealers throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.