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Jury Selection

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NEWS
March 31, 1994 | By Emilie Lounsberry, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Jury selection in the criminal trial of State Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen started here yesterday, and defense attorney William C. Costopoulos said his witness list included State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo and State Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr.'s brother, Robert. Costopoulos disclosed his witness list at the request of Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge J. Terrence O'Brien. Later, he would not say why he wanted to call either man. Costopoulos already has lost a court ruling that bars him from calling Ernie Preate, who is running for governor; State Supreme Court Justice Ronald D. Castille, or any other witness he wanted to call to support his contention that the charges were politically motivated.
NEWS
April 28, 1995 | By Angela Paik, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Courtroom proceedings in the case of a murdered Chester store owner have taken on characteristics reminiscent of the Dell Gease murder trial that ended in a death sentence this month. During a pretrial hearing yesterday, Thomas Charles O'Neal, 18, who is charged with murdering Kuldip Singh in August, showed some of the volatile nature that Gease displayed several times during his trial. As his handcuffs were removed in the courtroom yesterday, O'Neal snapped at Deputy Sheriff Gregory T. Price, "If you ever touch me again, I'm going to kill you," Price said.
NEWS
February 11, 1987 | By Kitty Dumas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jury selection began yesterday in Gloucester County Superior Court in the murder trial of David M. Russo, the Air Force sergeant charged with fatally shooting a Monroe Township man and wounding two others. Russo, 31, of Dover Air Force Base, Del., is charged in the slaying of Joseph Iovanisci, 20, of Monroe Township, during the March 7, 1985, robbery of an automobile-repair shop in Woolwich Township. If convicted, Russo could receive the death penalty. Russo also is charged with wounding Dino Rossi of Greenwich and Ann Marie Kiley of East Greenwich during the robbery.
NEWS
December 8, 1989 | By Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
A black, drug-peddling sex offender who claimed that blacks were systematically excluded from his jury will get a court hearing on his racial discrimination complaint. Harvey Weaver, 25, who was convicted by an all-white jury last year of sexually molesting a 19-year-old woman, produced evidence of "purposeful discrimination" in selecting a jury, said the state Superior Court this week. Superior Court Judge James E. Rowely wrote that the prosecutor "is obliged to provide reasons of sufficient detail to permit meaningful review by the trial court and, if necessary, the appellate court.
NEWS
April 7, 1997 | By Claude Lewis
The battle between Democratic incumbent District Attorney Lynne Abraham and her GOP endorsed rival, Jack McMahon, an ex-prosecutor-turned prominent defense lawyer, reminds me of a battle between two greasy wrestlers. Both Abraham and McMahon are slippery characters who've committed more than a few flagrant fouls in their time. Each has twisted the truth into more turns than a Philadelphia pretzel. Both have allowed more than a few insensitive remarks to escape their lips. Each stands as a precise example of what is wrong with Philadelphia, a great city perpetually plagued by poor leadership.
NEWS
January 13, 1993 | By Diane Mastrull, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Robert Raymond Rambo, a mechanic who works nights at a trucking company outside San Francisco, was awakened about a week ago by pounding on his front door. Outside was a person from his South Jersey past: Washington Township Detective Sgt. James Fanelli. Lawrence Magid, a Gloucester County prosecutor, was with him. They wanted to talk about a murder. According to court records obtained yesterday, it was Rambo who led authorities to suspect Robert F. Brown in the August 1981 kidnapping and slaying of Karen Sewekow, the only daughter of a Medford Lakes insurance executive.
NEWS
January 17, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - The young police officer eased his cruiser down the street on the afternoon of Jan. 14, 2011, rolling up alongside a younger man he wanted to speak with about something. It was, as a friend of the officer would later recall, "the intersection of good and evil. " Within moments, Patrolman Christopher Matlosz, 27, was mortally wounded, shot three times at close range. Just over 38 hours later, a SWAT team arrested Jahmell Crockam, 19, in the bedroom of a Camden apartment, where authorities say he had fled after the killing.
NEWS
September 8, 1988 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the half-century that David Friedland has been alive, he has captured headlines as a rising star in the New Jersey state Senate, as an accomplished attorney and as a convicted felon. Nothing he has done, though, can top the scuba-diving death he faked in the Bahamas three years ago, judging from responses of potential jurors questioned yesterday for Friedland's trial. "He swindled some money and went on a nice extended holiday and faked his death and had a good time while it lasted," said the first juror, who was excused because he said he could not be fair.
NEWS
April 3, 1990 | By Gary Cohn, Inquirer Staff Writer
The jury selection process began yesterday in the U.S. District Court trial of Earl Stout, the former labor leader who is charged with stealing nearly $1 million from the municipal-workers' union he headed for 13 years. A pool of potential jurors filled out questionnaires, but no jurors were selected. The questionnaires sought information on the potential jurors' backgrounds and beliefs and asked whether they personally knew Stout, his three co- defendants or any of the possible witnesses in the case.
NEWS
May 14, 1986 | By Nicole Brodeur, Special to The Inquirer
Jury selection began yesterday in the trial of a Pemberton Township woman charged with murdering an alleged cocaine dealer by stabbing him 50 times in a Wrightstown motel. Ledora Watkins, 18, of Ursinus Court, faces charges of murder and aggravated manslaughter in Burlington County Superior Court in the death of Rafael Carmenate, 51, of Kinsley Road in Pemberton. Carmenate's body was found on the morning of Sept. 22 in a room at the Royal Motel on Georgetown-Wrightstown Road.
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NEWS
June 17, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two North Philadelphia men were convicted Monday of attempted murder and conspiracy in the shooting of a neighborhood preacher who refused a $500 bribe to not testify against one of them. The Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men deliberated about three hours before returning guilty verdicts against Aki Jones, 39, and Shaheed Wilson, 23, for shooting Michael Vessels. Vessels, 46, of the same North Philadelphia neighborhood as Jones and Wilson, was shot five times and left for dead on Sept.
NEWS
May 6, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury of six men and six women was selected Monday to hear the murder trial of a Levittown exterminator charged in the 2013 strangling of Philadelphia doctor Melissa Ketunuti. Jason Smith, 39, is accused of killing Ketunuti, 35, a pediatrician and researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, during a Jan. 21, 2013, argument at her house in 1700 block of Naudain Street in the Graduate Hospital area of Center City. Smith, an independent exterminator hired by a Bucks County firm, was assigned to rid Ketunuti's rowhouse of mice.
NEWS
March 26, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
DERRICK WHITE, the only defendant sentenced to death by a Philadelphia jury in 2012, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday. White, 24, was expected to face a new penalty-phase hearing this week, but a judge ruled that because of a "technical defect in a legal filing," prosecutors could not seek the death penalty against White, White's new defense attorney, Gary Server, said yesterday. White was 20 years old on May 6, 2010, when he fatally shot Abdul Taylor, 33, because White allegedly wanted to prevent him from testifying as a prosecution witness in another murder case.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last summer, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Vonte Skinner, saying the admission of rap lyrics he had written before he was arrested on charges of attempted murder prejudiced the jury in his earlier trial. On Tuesday, as his new trial was about to commence, Skinner raised yet another legal issue, telling a judge he wanted to dismiss his lawyer and defend himself. "I'm not going to continue to get railroaded," Skinner angrily told Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert in Mount Holly a few minutes before a jury was to be selected.
NEWS
January 14, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jury selection opened Monday for a Chester County man accused of killing his stepfather in a June 2013 argument sparked when the stepfather asked him to walk the family dog. Deviane Justin Scott, now 21, allegedly shot Joseph Durham, 36, multiple times before fleeing the house naked, police said. Scott is charged with first- and third-degree murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and related charges. Jury selection occurred Monday in front of County Court Judge David Bortner.
NEWS
December 17, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AND THEN there was one. At least that's what is expected to happen today in the big federal trial of members of the local Ironworkers union. Four remaining defendants had been expected to head to trial with jury selection starting today, but now three are expected to enter guilty pleas this morning. So that leaves one standing: Ironworkers Local 401's former longtime head, Joseph Dougherty, 73, who is expected to be the lone defendant facing a Jan. 5 trial, after jury selection this week.
NEWS
October 11, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Montgomery County Court jury on Thursday convicted a King of Prussia man of first-degree murder in the killings of a grandmother and 10-month-old girl, a case that prosecutors said began as a kidnapping plot and spiraled quickly into brutal violence. Raghunandan Yandamuri, 28, a former information-technology worker who came to the United States from India on a work visa, faces the possibility of the death penalty for the 2012 stabbing of Satayrathi Venna, 61, and suffocation of her granddaughter, Saanvi Venna.
NEWS
May 21, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office would take on new responsibility for prosecuting traffic violations under a proposal announced Monday as part of a series of efforts to root out corruption in the city's troubled Traffic Court. Four city prosecutors and 10 paralegals would be dispatched to handle at least 500 cases a day, replacing a system in which police officers often have served in the prosecutorial role. The shift should bring more uniformity to the outcomes of cases and provide an extra level of scrutiny, Mayor Nutter and District Attorney Seth Williams said in announcing the proposal Monday.
NEWS
May 20, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
UPDATE: 1:55 p.m.: Jury selection in this case has been postponed to Wednesday. The judge who was presiding over the case, Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Kelly, is unavailable to preside at the trial because of illness, an order filed today by Chief Judge Petrese Tucker said. This case will now be heard by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel. Earlier story below ... IT'S TIME for the judges to be judged. Six former Traffic Court judges and two businessmen will head to federal court in Philadelphia this morning for jury selection in their trial on accusations that they participated in a widespread ticket-fixing scheme.
NEWS
October 23, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
AXEL BARRETO made headlines Jan. 10, 2012, when he stormed out the back door of his Juniata Park home, and shot up a Toyota Corolla containing seven teenage boys who had come to fight one of his three stepsons. Three of the boys in the car died, one survived a gunshot to the neck and three were uninjured. The car had been circling the block before the shooting. Barreto, 32, goes on trial this week and could receive the death penalty if his jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder.
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