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Jury Selection

NEWS
October 7, 2012
Mob soldier Louis "Big Lou" Fazzini pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge Friday, just days before jury selection was to begin in a case in which he, mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, and six others were to stand trial. Fazzini, 45, is the fourth defendant in the case to enter a guilty plea. He will be sentenced in January and under federal guidelines could receive from 51 to 78 months. Fazzini admitted his involvement in a mob-controlled gambling and loansharking operation.
NEWS
October 2, 2012 | By George Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mob associate Louis Barretta was sentenced to 33 months in prison today after admitting his role in an organized crime gambling and loan-sharking operation. Barretta, 48, had pleaded guilty in September. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno following a brief hearing this morning. Barretta, of Philadelphia, was indicted last year along with acting mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and 12 others. He is the third defendant to plead guilty and be sentenced.
NEWS
September 18, 2012 | By George Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
He has been described by a federal prosecutor as the leader "of perhaps the most violent drug gang ever seen in Philadelphia. " A top city police official once described him as "pure evil. " Secretly recorded conversations include his boasts about killing witnesses and threatening to kill their families. His underworld philosophy, authorities say, was captured in this chilling explanation of his legal strategy: "Without the witnesses, you don't have no case. . . . No witness, no crime.
NEWS
September 17, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
The drama that played out in Courtroom 907 of the Criminal Justice Center last week was a classic urban tragedy. The victim - a well-loved, hardworking Ivy League graduate - faced his attacker, an antisocial, high school dropout with homemade tattoos whose only advocate was the defense attorney. But the script deviated. Usually, there is rancor. The victim's friends and relatives testify about how their lives have been damaged and do not hold back their fury at the perpetrator.
NEWS
September 13, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Calling the shooting "as close to a homicide as a case could get," Judge Jeffrey Minehart on Wednesday sentenced Christopher Easton to 30 to 60 years in prison. Easton, 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted murder just as jury selection was about to begin. Easton, also known as Christopher Easter, had held out entering a plea for months hoping that a trial would lead to a shorter sentence. He faced a maximum sentence of 41 to 81 years. He was immediately taken off to prison.
NEWS
September 13, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
After three hours of testimony that left even the defense attorney moved to the brink of tears, Christopher Easton, 21, a high school dropout from Northern Liberties, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for the attempted murder of Kevin Neary, a self-employed businessman who lived in the neighborhood. Neary, 29, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, was walking home Nov. 15 after a night out with friends when he was mugged on Bodine Street within view of his front door.
NEWS
September 12, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After holding out for months, hoping that a trial would lead to a shorter sentence, Christopher Easton pleaded guilty to attempted murder Tuesday morning, just as jury selection was about to begin. Easton, 21, who was arrested in November, admitted to shooting Kevin Neary, a young entrepreneur who lived in Northern Liberties, during an attempted robbery. Neary, 29, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, was walking home alone Nov. 15 after a night out with friends when Easton accosted him and demanded his wallet.
NEWS
June 8, 2012 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - A jury of seven women and five men was seated Wednesday to hear the child sex-abuse case against Jerry Sandusky, setting the stage for opening arguments to begin Monday. The panel's makeup also left little doubt of the shadow that Pennsylvania State University will cast over the former assistant football coach's trial. Of those chosen, at least eight have ties to the college where Sandusky worked for three decades under legendary head coach Joe Paterno before retiring in 1999.
NEWS
June 6, 2012 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 600 potential jurors are slated to pack Centre County's courthouse Tuesday as lawyers begin the tedious task of finding a dozen who have not already made up their minds about Jerry Sandusky. In a county where the child sex abuse allegations against the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach have already tarnished the reputation of a university and led to the downfall of local hero and former head coach Joe Paterno, that task is likely to prove challenging.
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