February 10, 2016 |
Montgomery County's district attorney joined relatives of Ellen Gregory Robb on Monday to publicly renew their opposition to parole for Rafael Robb, her husband and a former University of Pennsylvania professor, who is imprisoned for killing her. "Ellen is serving a lifetime sentence in her grave, and this man must fill his entire sentence," her brother Gary Gregory said at a news conference in Norristown. Rafael Robb pleaded guilty in 2007 to fatally bludgeoning his wife in their Upper Merion Township home in 2006 as she was wrapping Christmas presents.
January 31, 2016
A Montgomery County man was charged last week with more than 100 felony counts of possessing and sharing child pornography, officials announced Friday. Robert Giuffrida, 38, of Huntingdon Valley, was charged after a detective found files connected to his computer during a child-pornography investigation and served a search warrant on his home, District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a news release Friday. Giuffrida was arraigned last week and is being held at Montgomery County jail on $100,000 cash bail.
January 29, 2016 |
A former corrections officer who pleaded guilty in November to charges he smuggled heroin and other drugs to inmates in Chester County Prison was sentenced Wednesday to at least three years in prison. Douglas A. Keck, 46, of Pottstown, had pleaded guilty to six felony counts for possession of controlled substances and possession with intent to deliver. Keck was arrested in March for smuggling heroin, Xanax, and a pain medicine to inmates housed in the prison block to which he was assigned.
January 29, 2016 |
The ACLU of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on Wednesday announced the settlement of a federal lawsuit over treatment delays for defendants who courts had ordered be given mental-health care. In an October lawsuit, the ACLU and its co-counsel, Arnold & Porter, alleged that severely mentally ill defendants languished in Pennsylvania's county jails, sometimes for more than a year, while awaiting treatment to restore competence, so they could stand trial. Under the settlement, Pennsylvania agreed to add nearly 200 treatment slots, including at least 50 in supportive housing in Philadelphia.
January 21, 2016
HARRISBURG - The Wolf administration said Tuesday that Pennsylvania's prison population decreased by 842 inmates last year, continuing a decline stemming from criminal justice reforms enacted in 2012, but a union leader said the numbers mask other problems. At a news conference at the Harrisburg Community Corrections Center, Gov. Wolf and Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said the reforms are reducing the number of offenders in prison and diverting parole violators to the less-expensive local centers also known as halfway houses.
January 17, 2016 |
A federal judge ruled Friday that an incarcerated drug suspect will be allowed to attend Monday's funeral of his 13-year-old son, the first person killed in Camden in 2016. "Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Jesus," murmured Taisha Mercado, the weeping mother of Nathaniel Plummer Jr., on hearing the ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Williams. Williams did not reveal the conditions of the temporary release of Nathaniel Plummer Sr., 31. But she challenged him to abide by her sealed terms, even though, she said, some people will hope he fails.
January 15, 2016 |
The Bucks County district attorney recommended Wednesday that Neshaminy High School basketball coach Jerry Devine be charged with harassment - a summary offense - for knocking a referee to the floor during a game last week. The offense carries a maximum jail sentence of 90 days and a fine of $300. Efforts to reach Devine were unsuccessful. "There was aggressive physical contact," District Attorney David Heckler said at a news conference. A widely circulated video from the incident appeared to show Devine head-butting the referee after a charging call against a Neshaminy player in the final seconds of his team's 49-42 loss to visiting Pennsbury High School.
January 9, 2016 |
Philadelphia has a plan to cut its prison population by one-third, or about 2,500 inmates, over three years. It just needs some help with the cost. So said the city in a proposal submitted Wednesday to the MacArthur Foundation, seeking $2 million in grants and pledging $2 million in new and existing city money to drive its prison number down by 34 percent. That number currently is about 7,500 inmates, in six facilities and a handful of satellite sites. Faced with soaring jail populations nationwide, particularly for men and women awaiting trial, the foundation issued a "Safety and Justice" challenge to municipalities around the country.
December 9, 2015 |
People charged with first-time nonviolent felonies will get an opportunity to go to college rather than jail under a program launched Monday by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and Community College of Philadelphia. The "Future Forward" pilot, scheduled to begin in the spring with 10 to 15 students, is one of a growing number of alternative programs introduced by Williams to help those accused of lesser crimes turn their lives around. The program is for defendants facing trials for nonviolent felonies, such as drug sales, forgery, car theft, and commercial burglary.