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NEWS
November 10, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AN APPELLATE-COURT panel yesterday denied ex-narcotics cop Thomas Liciardello's request to be released from prison pending his trial on racketeering conspiracy and robbery charges. Liciardello, 38, is the alleged ringleader of a group of ex-narcs accused of robbing suspected drug dealers, at times violently. Defense lawyer Jeffrey Miller said the 3rd Circuit appeal centered on the lack of "clear and compelling evidence that [Liciardello] posed a threat to witnesses or the community.
NEWS
November 8, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
OUTSIDE THE courthouse last month, Joseph Merlino laughed off his upcoming prison stint as an opportunity to take his workout routine to the next level and "get my sixpack back. " But, come on, do you really think "Joey Sixpack" wants to spend four months doing crunches in a jail cell? Lawyers for the ex-mob boss are asking for a postponement of his sentence while they appeal a judge's ruling that he violated the terms of his probation while living in Florida. At a court hearing on Oct. 24, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick ordered Merlino to report to prison on Nov. 24 after detectives testified that he'd been spotted with John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini in a Boca Raton cigar bar in June.
NEWS
October 30, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
Officials at the Burlington County Jail ignored an inmate's pleas for medication, leaving him "unattended and dying" in a wheelchair for several hours in the facility's clinic, according to a lawsuit filed by the inmate's family. When Jerome Iozzia, 50, of Browns Mills, died a day later, on Feb. 25, correctional officers and medical workers tried to cover up their actions, Iozzia's family alleges in the suit. It was filed Aug. 28 in Superior Court in Burlington County, and first reported by the Trentonian this week.
NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
VIDEO THAT surfaced last week showing a corrections officer in Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility allegedly beating a handcuffed prisoner has spurred allegations of preferential treatment of employees based on race in the city's largest jail. Curran-Fromhold Warden Michele Farrell recommended a five-day suspension for the officer, James Weisback, for using excessive force, prison spokeswoman Shawn Hawes said. That recommendation is awaiting approval from Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla, Hawes said.
NEWS
October 21, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
JOHN LEWIS figures it started with his name. He has the same name as the baby-faced armed robber convicted of killing Philadelphia Police Officer Chuck Cassidy in 2007. So, when Lewis gave Officer Edward Sawicki III his name during a routine car stop in North Philadelphia on Jan. 31, 2012, Sawicki scowled. "Oh, so you want to be an assh---?" Sawicki yelled, according to Lewis, as he yanked him from the car. The next 10 minutes were a bloody blur: Lewis said that Sawicki and another officer beat him with their fists and batons until Sawicki ordered a third officer to fire up her Taser.
NEWS
October 15, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sonny Forriest Jr. leaned back in his recliner, stretched out his prosthetic leg, and let out a booming laugh at the sight of his own face on the television. He was running on just a few hours of sleep. His phone kept buzzing with calls. And he was still wearing the Eagles jersey he had sported Sunday night when, he says, a drunk woman fell into his lap at a tailgate party, grabbed his $2,000 prosthetic leg from the armrest of his motorized scooter, and ran off. Despite his predicament, Forriest had sung, laughed, and hugged other tailgaters as he recounted the story to reporters - and captured national attention.
NEWS
October 14, 2014 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
THREE DAYS in October will define the rest of Steven L. Pratt's life. The first day was Oct. 11, 1984, when Pratt was just 15 and put a bullet in his next-door neighbor's brain in Atlantic City after a fight his mother, Gwendolyn Pratt, had broken up earlier in their apartment there. The second day, Friday, held out hope for promise because Pratt was released from Bayside State Prison after serving almost exactly 30 years for that murder. But on the final day, yesterday, authorities say Pratt killed his mother.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino cut a colorful figure Friday as he swaggered into a federal courtroom in Philadelphia for his first appearance before a judge here in more than a decade. Dressed in a floral tie, designer shades, and a dapper suit, he needled the FBI agents who have tracked him for years and joked with court onlookers. "Can't wait to go to the parade," he quipped to news cameras on his way to court. Though Merlino says he has sworn off mob life since moving to Florida, for a few fleeting moments it was almost as if the mouthy, media-friendly former head of the city's crime family had never left.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
SINCE HIS RELEASE from federal prison in 2011, Joey Merlino has been working hard, keeping his nose clean and making monthly restitution payments. He even volunteered with a group that trains teachers who work with children with autism. But he did not violate his probation. That's what Merlino's lawyers, Edwin Jacobs Jr. and Michael F. Myers, wrote in a legal memo filed yesterday, claiming that Merlino has "scrupulously abided" by the terms of his supervised release while living in Florida.
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