April 17, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA A veteran Philadelphia homicide prosecutor was named Tuesday to a new post in the District Attorney's Office to investigate claims from convicted people who say they are innocent. The Conviction Review Unit will be headed by Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson, District Attorney Seth Williams said at a news conference with the legal director of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Williams and the Innocence Project's Marissa Bluestine described the new unit as a place where good-faith claims of people serving long prison terms can be investigated and possibly resolved without going through years of expensive post-conviction appeals.
September 4, 2000 |
The body of a Marlton carpenter was recovered yesterday from the Delaware River, where he had been swimming and fishing with friends over the weekend. Gilson V. Desouza, 24, was swept away by swift currents Saturday afternoon about a quarter-mile north of the Scudders Falls Bridge, just south of Washington Crossing State Park, officials said. "They were making their way across to a small island," New Jersey Trooper Adam Wrede said. Desouza was wading in the river and entered an area that was deeper - about 15 feet deep - when he was pulled under and away by the current, police said.
January 25, 2001 |
Luis Alicea, 19, decided to go straight two years ago. He got tired of seeing the violence associated with drug trafficking, and told friends he wanted to quit a drug organization. Alicea, who had been a street corner dealer, said he planned to go to school and make something of his life. Unfortunately, he never got the chance. His drug boss allegedly shot and killed him as punishment for his decision to walk away from the illegal business, said Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson.
December 1, 1998 |
John Gray may get away with murder, the prosecutor said. Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson said he ransacked the records in the case of the reputed slumlord to see if there were grounds to appeal a judge's ruling that Gray, 63, is incompetent to stand trial in six fire deaths at a West Philadelphia building he operated. Gilson reluctantly concluded there was none. Yesterday, Gilson told Common Pleas Judge Carolyn E. Temin that her ruling is not appealable. Gray was awaiting trial in six third-degree murder counts because he allegedly failed to correct building code violations before a fire in the apartment building on 42nd Street near Lancaster Avenue on April 5, 1997.
January 29, 1999 |
Cops called the accused killer a lot of names in his day - by his own choice. The man has used 18 separate names after arrests, said Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson. Yesterday, two lawyers showed up for the guy's preliminary hearing, sure that each represented him. The defendant will have to name one. Court officials are not certain what name to use on the dockets. "I know him as Fred," said attorney Anthony E. Stefanski, an associate of attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. Attorney Arnold Silverstein thinks his client is Wilfredo Lopez Martinez.
October 28, 1999 |
Kareem "Boo" Morefield had a good reason for putting up half of Charles "Chip" Alexander's $100,000 bail after Alexander was arrested for a contract killing last year, said the prosecutor. Morefield, 22, of Norris Street near 23rd, had hired Alexander to kill the victim, Benjamin "Marco" Singleton, 21, of Van Pelt Street near Berks, on April 21, 1998, said Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson. Gilson said Morefield failed in his own attempt to murder Singleton in 1997, and was afraid of retaliation.
May 15, 2008 |
The accused bank robbers charged in the killing of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski had planned to hold up the bank the night before, but one of the three original conspirators got cold feet when he discovered he didn't have a Muslim disguise like the others, prosecutors said yesterday. The new details about the bank robbery and its aftermath emerged after a court hearing for one of the men who allegedly had plotted to take part but was forced out before the plan was executed.
April 9, 1997 |
There was no stopping Mildred Jones. Not even nine bullets. Jones, 34, survived being shot nine times last July in an apparent effort to silence her. Instead, she appeared at this week's trial for Angelo "Low" Romero, 21, and helped to convict the drug dealer of fatally shooting a rival dealer, Wesley Baxter, 33, inside a home on Arlington Street near Ringgold in North Philadelphia. Baxter died about three weeks after the shooting last May 26. A jury found Romero, of Ogden Street near 11th, guilty of first-degree murder, and Common Pleas Judge John J. Poserina Jr. sentenced him to a life prison term.
February 1, 2000 |
Whatshisname was convicted of first-degree murder by a jury yesterday. No one was really sure what the 51-year-old man's real name is because he's been arrested 29 times under 18 different names, has listed 15 addresses, four dates of birth and three Social Security numbers. It won't matter much; he'll soon have a number. The North Philadelphia man has 15 convictions. He failed to show in court on eight prior occasions. "By the time the trial was over, we were calling him Mr. Torres," said Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson.
December 14, 1996 |
Rap singer Bryant Kirk lost his life mixing drugs and music in Philadelphia. Kirk, 28, was shot and robbed last June of $25,000 after he arrived at the corner of 11th Street and Nedro Avenue to buy drugs and to deliver a demonstration record to a neighborhood man, said Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson. Kirk, of Pennsauken, N.J., died the next day in a hospital. This week, after a preliminary hearing before Municipal Judge Louis G. F. Retacco, Thomas Stallings, 30, of Marvine Street near Champlost, was ordered to face the music for luring Kirk to his death.