February 3, 2014 |
Etched into the chipping paint on the cinder-block walls in the Gloucester County Jail are the thoughts and drawings and expletives of prisoners who have come and gone. Words like Freedom. As it stands, the recently closed jail in Woodbury - used now for storage and office space - doesn't have much of an afterlife. But some think its former occupants might. A Salem County paranormal research group spent the weekend testing that theory with 13 night-vision cameras, audio recorders, and a slew of other specialized equipment familiar to viewers of shows like Ghost Hunters.
January 27, 2014 |
HARRY GAINES, the West Philadelphia man arrested last January for slashing the tires of 56 parked cars in the neighborhood, was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail yesterday. The sentence, handed down by Common Pleas Judge Rayford Means, will allow Gaines to be released during the day to work and return to jail at night. Work release, the judge said, will give Gaines, 28, the ability to find a job to pay restitution - estimated at $5,000 - to his victims. Means also sentenced Gaines to serve 30 years of probation and ordered him to cooperate with the District Attorney's Office in the prosecution of his codefendant and stepsister, Aleze Lewis, 37. Her trial is scheduled for March.
January 21, 2014 |
ONLY FOUR months before delivering his "I Have A Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sat in an Alabama prison cell and wrote his grim, despairing "Letter from Birmingham Jail. " Eastern State Penitentiary, on Fairmount Avenue near 22nd Street, commemorates King's life today, as it did all weekend, by reading and discussing that gut-wrenching letter at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. All sessions are free and open to the public.
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.