January 19, 2014 |
TWO FORMER Philadelphia police officers were each sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail yesterday for their actions in a November 2008 incident that began with a stolen pizza and ended with a man being shot dead in front of his family. In sentencing former Sgt. Chauncey Ellison Sr. and former Officer Robin Fortune, Common Pleas Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd said they had acted in a "shameless and dangerous way" leading up to Ellison's shooting of Lawrence Allen in front of the victim's home on Renovo Street in West Oak Lane.
January 12, 2014 |
BRISTOL TWP. A Bristol Township man was charged Friday with fatally stabbing a woman who was five months pregnant and her 4-year-old daughter, and setting their bodies on fire, in late November. Authorities said they had zeroed in on Marcel Emmanuel Johnson, 21, as a suspect on the day of the killings, Nov. 25, and were able to put him in jail within hours on unrelated charges involving drugs and unpaid parking tickets. In the following weeks, police built their case, which included DNA evidence and a criminal informant who said that in jail, Johnson confessed to the slayings, according to the affidavit filed against him. Johnson stabbed Ebony Capri Talley, 22, and her daughter R'Mani Rankins at the Avalon Court apartments and then "incinerated them like human garbage," said Matt Weintraub, chief of prosecution for the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.
January 10, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA A Colorado woman who took her 6-year-old son to train for holy war with a purported al-Qaeda operative in Ireland was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison. Jamie Paulin Ramirez, 35, told a federal judge in Philadelphia that she knew a week after marrying Ali Charaf Damache that she had made a horrible mistake. She only hopes that her child can forget the hate-filled teachings to which she exposed him, she said. But in urging a decadelong sentence, prosecutors showed an alarming video of Ramirez's boy - draped in a traditional Middle Eastern headdress and long robes - cheerfully vowing, at his mother's prompting, to shoot nonbelievers.
November 29, 2013 |
Former Montgomery County Republican party leader Robert J. Kerns spent the night at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility after being arrested Tuesday on charges that he drugged and raped a woman who worked at his law firm. The 66-year-old Kerns, a North Wales resident, was released Wednesday after posting $100,000 cash - 10 percent of the $1 million bail, defense lawyer Brian McMonagle said. Authorities say that on Oct. 25, Kerns offered to drive the 51-year-old employee from an office party in a Whitpain Township restaurant to the King of Prussia Mall, where she wanted to go shopping.
November 29, 2013 |
After a Montgomery County woman landed in jail in April on a parole violation, her first instinct was to refuse visits from her 4-year-old son. She didn't want him to see her locked away, wearing a prison uniform. But Katie Gdowik, the caseworker for the boy, pressed her: Did she really believe having no contact with her son for months would be better than his seeing her in jail? The mother relented and agreed to let her son visit. Gdowik's instincts might represent the ideal but not always common response, according to advocates such as Kathleen Creamer, an attorney for Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, who recently completed a two-year study of services provided to children of inmates.
November 19, 2013 |
WE'VE SEEN some odd court cases in Philadelphia - newspaper owners suing each other, for instance - but we've never heard of anything like the case going on in Girona, Spain. There, Sonia Bosom (imagine all the times she was called a "tithead" as a child) sued her upstairs neighbors and their daughter for noise pollution. The daughter, Laia Martin , isn't some kid banging a drum all day - she's a professional concert pianist. Crazier yet, prosecutor Emma Ruiz wants Martin to serve jail time.
October 30, 2013
No jail time for 50 Cent He'll always be half a buck short of a buck, but rapper 50 Cent has avoided jail time in a domestic violence case dating to June 23, when he allegedly kicked Daphne Joy Narvaez (who may be the mother of a kid of his) and busted up some of her stuff. In a plea deal with L.A. prosecutors Monday, he accepted a count of misdemeanor vandalism in return for dropping a domestic violence count. He gets three years of probation and 30 days of community service, plus counseling, and must pay $7,100 in restitution to her. Plus her restraining order against him stays in effect.
October 30, 2013 |
THE 8-YEAR-OLD sat near a sand bucket in her therapist's office Sept. 24 and was asked to act out her biggest fears for the next day, when she would go to court and face the man who tried to take her and threatened to kill her. The girl took a toy lamb and put it on one side of the bucket: That was her. She took a dinosaur and put it on the other side, between two animal guards: That was him. After a short time, the dinosaur knocked the guards...
October 25, 2013
NATIONALLY, and in Pennsylvania, we need a big correction on corrections. We spend too much money - billions - on locking up too many people, with too little results. The shameful outcome of policies that have led to an explosion of prison spending is well-documented: A major study by the Pew Center on the States found in 2008 that one in 31 adults - 7.3 million Americans - was in prison, or on parole or probation. One in 11 African-Americans is under correctional control, compared to one in 45 whites.
October 18, 2013 |
CAMDEN Last Thursday, Carmen Feliciano went to visit her 23-year-old daughter in the Camden County Jail, as she had done nearly every week since the young woman was arrested July 3 on a charge of violating probation. When Feliciano arrived, she said she was told that her daughter had declined the visit. "I said, 'That's impossible. She sees me and her daughter every week. Is everything OK?' " Without an answer, Feliciano said, she went home. Two days later, her daughter, Evelina Heredia, was found dead in her jail cell, Camden County prosecutors have said.