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Jury Selection

NEWS
January 8, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's been almost two years since a Philadelphia grand jury probe of Catholic clergy sex abuse of children resulted in charges against four priests and a teacher. On Monday - after last year's landmark, three-month trial ended in the first criminal conviction of a church administrator for covering up the crimes of deviate priests - the last two defendants, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former parochial schoolteacher Bernard Shero, are to go to trial. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, and Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler will begin winnowing a large group of candidates down to a jury of 12 plus several alternates.
NEWS
October 10, 2012 | By George Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than 150 potential jurors are expected in federal court Tuesday morning as lawyers and a federal judge begin the process of picking a jury in the racketeering trial of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and six codefendants. A second group is to report Wednesday. The selection process is expected to take a week, with opening arguments likely sometime late next week. The trial could run from eight to 12 weeks, according to most estimates. Jurors will be selected from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a federal jurisdiction that includes Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties.
NEWS
October 10, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
AKRON, OHIO - A teenager charged in a deadly scheme to lure victims with phony Craigslist job offers went on trial on murder charges Tuesday, waving to prospective jurors when he was introduced in court and taking notes and conferring with his attorneys during jury selection. Brogan Rafferty, 17, of Stow, is being tried as an adult. He and his co-defendant, Richard Beasley, 53, of Akron, have pleaded not guilty. Beasley will be tried separately. Three men were killed last year - two in Noble County in southeast Ohio and one found slain in Summit County near an Akron shopping mall - after responding to what authorities said were bogus online job postings.
NEWS
October 9, 2012 | BY MICHAEL HINKELMAN, Daily News Staff Writer
JURY SELECTION begins Tuesday in the racketeering trial of reputed acting Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and six lieutenants. Five co-defendants have pleaded guilty in the case and three other co-defendants facing lesser charges will be tried separately. Jury selection could take up to a week. The trial is expected to last at least two to three months. Federal prosecutors hope that convicting Ligambi, 73, and his top lieutenants will do lasting damage to the city's already depleted crime family.
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
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.
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