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NEWS
April 22, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
His reluctance to use violence and sabotage as negotiating tactics prompted union colleagues to call him "a zero" and "a waste. " Prosecutors have referred to him as the "reluctant racketeer. " Still, William O'Donnell was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of house arrest Monday for his limited role in Ironworkers Local 401's years-long campaign to extort jobs for members by intimidating builders with threats and attacks. "This kind of conduct in a civilized society . . . is outrageous," U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson said during the hearing in federal court.
NEWS
April 22, 2015 | BY BOB STEWART, Daily News Staff Writer stewarr@phillynews.com, 215-854-4890
  GARY COTTRELL - the ex-Philly cop who asked witnesses to lie for him when he felt the heat from an investigation into cash loans he gave people from his neighborhood - will spend 10 months in jail for his crime, a federal judge ruled yesterday. The federal government in 2013 charged Cottrell with several counts of loan-sharking, but a jury acquitted him of those charges. The jury convicted him, however, on two counts of obstruction for asking witnesses to deny that he charged them interest on the loans.
NEWS
April 13, 2015 | BY LARA WITT, Daily News Staff Writer wittl@phillynews.com, 215-854-5927
DOUGLAS FERRIN, the Germantown artist who blew off three of his fingers while holding a homemade bomb last May, yesterday told the court that he lived with the shame and embarrassment of his actions. "I see the fire that took my fingers and I feel sick," he said during his sentencing hearing. "I hate myself for having lit that fuse. " Ferrin, 55, yesterday was sentenced to 1 1/2 to three years in prison for his conviction in February on charges of possessing weapons of mass destruction.
NEWS
April 12, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Imagine Justin in Argentine jail! Justin Bieber , 21, who recently told the world he has left his criminal past behind, is being sought by police in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A judge on Friday issued an arrest warrant for the Bieb after he failed to respond to a summons in relation to allegations he ordered two bodyguards to attack a photog outside a club in 2013. Justin's reps have yet to issue a comment.   Scott: Ashton was with my GF! Scott Eastwood dropped a bit of a bombshell Thursday night, revealing that Ashton Kutcher had relations with a woman Scott was dating.
NEWS
April 5, 2015 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mumia Abu-Jamal is back in prison after being hospitalized this week for treatment of diabetes. Abu-Jamal, 60, who is serving a life sentence for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981, returned to State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy on Wednesday night after two days in intensive care, said Johanna Fernandez, one of his supporters. His blood-sugar level remains high; Fernandez said it was 336 on Friday afternoon when he was last tested at the prison's infirmary. Any reading above 186 is considered dangerous.
NEWS
April 5, 2015 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former Lower Moreland High School teacher was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail and 60 days of house arrest for having sex with a student. Erica Ann Ginnetti, 35, was an AP calculus teacher at Lower Moreland High School in 2013 when she had sex with a 17-year-old male student. Ginnetti cried in court Friday morning as she read a letter of apology, and said she has repaired her relationship with her husband and children and built a new career as a fitness instructor. Montgomery County Court Judge Garrett D. Page said her remorse did not lessen the seriousness of her crime.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
JESSE KRIMES, an artist from Lancaster County, was sentenced in 2009 to five years in federal prison for possession of powdered cocaine with intent to distribute. His new neighbors were the Aryan Brotherhood, the Mexican Mafia and other prison gangs. "I thought to myself, 'Where the hell am I?' " said Krimes, 32, a free man since last year, sitting in his Spring Garden studio in Olivet Covenant Church's former Sunday school. "I asked myself, 'How am I going to survive?' " He survived for a year at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C., by drawing portraits of gang members, who sent them home to their loved ones.
NEWS
March 26, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
An attorney for Don Tollefson has asked a Bucks County judge to go easy on the former sportscaster, arguing that Tollefson should be credited with time served and be assigned a "grueling regimen of community service. " Instead of prison, when she sentences Tollefson on Wednesday for his $340,000 sports-ticket scam, the judge should allow Tollefson to help "society's children" and "permit him to teach hope and respect and promise to those who are hungry and open for this counsel," Robert Goldman wrote in a sentencing memo filed Tuesday.
NEWS
March 20, 2015 | BY BOB STEWART, Daily News Staff Writer stewarr@phillynews.com, 215-854-4890
AN IMPASSIONED plea for clemency from a preacher who is a former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge garnered a lot of "amens" but failed to move a federal judge Thursday. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel sentenced Willie Singletary to 20 months in prison for his role in a "ticket-fixing" scandal. "I have made some foolish and stupid decisions," Singletary said. "But all I want to do is help people. " More than 80 supporters packed the courtroom. Most hailed from Consolation Baptist Church in South Philly, where Singletary is the pastor.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FORMER SEPTA Transit Police officer who was videotaped masturbating on a Broad Street Line train was convicted yesterday of open lewdness and indecent exposure. Kevin Fant, 44, worked for SEPTA and was off duty, dressed in a gray hoodie sweatshirt, black biker shorts and black sneakers, when someone videotaped him fondling himself. After viewing the short video of Fant pleasuring himself - which was not played in open court - and hearing from two SEPTA employees, Municipal Judge Karen Yvette Simmons convicted the former transit cop, who has since been fired, of the two misdemeanor charges.
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