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Jury Trial

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NEWS
October 13, 2006 | By Julie Shaw INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The man accused of strangling La'Toyia Figueroa, the 24-year-old pregnant West Philadelphia woman whose disappearance became a cause celebre, waived his right to a jury trial yesterday. With that, testimony began in the trial of Stephen Poaches, 27, of West Philadelphia, who faces two counts of murder and related offenses in the July 18, 2005, deaths of Figueroa and her unborn child. Poaches was the father of the child and Figueroa's former boyfriend. Michael Coard, Poaches' lawyer, said in a telephone interview yesterday that he and his client always wanted a trial by judge alone, not jury, because of the "legal niceties" involved in the case that a judge would probably better understand.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
When former Montgomery County Republican Chairman Robert J. Kerns goes to trial next week on sex charges, he will have to convince only one person of his innocence. John L. Braxton, a Philadelphia senior judge, was assigned to the case after the Montgomery County bench was recused to avoid any potential bias for or against the onetime political heavyweight. Court documents show that Kerns, 67, has opted not to take his case before a jury, a strategy one criminal defense expert said could be risky.
NEWS
December 7, 1989 | By Connie O'Kane, Special to The Inquirer
Broadening a controversial decision he made earlier this year, a Burlington County judge ruled this week that an accused drunken driver has a right to a jury trial even if the driver is only a first offender. Superior Court Judge Martin L. Haines wrote in an opinion released yesterday that the penalties drunken drivers face are serious enough to require a jury trial, even if these trials are more time-consuming and expensive than the nonjury municipal court trials that take place now. Haines had earlier ruled that only second offenders had a right to juries.
NEWS
December 4, 1988 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
A 17-year-old Chester boy accused of participating in the August shooting death of a former Chester High School cheerleader is scheduled to go on trial in Delaware County Court this week on a charge of first-degree murder. Five teenagers were acquitted of first-degree murder but were found guilty Nov. 3 of aggravated assault in a nonjury trial stemming from a gang shootout in which Carla Carrington, 17, of Chester, was killed by a stray bullet. Common Pleas Court Judge Domenic Jerome found a sixth youth not guilty of any charges.
SPORTS
January 30, 1988 | The Inquirer Staff
The Minnesota Twins agreed to contract terms yesterday with veteran lefthanded pitcher Steve Carlton, who had become a free agent after not receiving a contract offer from the Twins at the end of the 1987 season. Terms of the one-year pact were not disclosed. Minnesota acquired Carlton, 43, at the beginning of August from the Cleveland Indians. He was 5-9 with the Indians in 1987 but went 1-5 with the Twins and was not on Minnesota's playoff roster. He had a combined 5.74 earned run average with the two teams last season.
NEWS
October 28, 1998 | By Robert Moran, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
The rights of the criminally accused in Pennsylvania are at issue with two ballot questions that voters will decide Tuesday. Both questions are proposed amendments to the state constitution. As required, they have passed two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly. The first change to the state constitution would allow for the denial of bail if a defendant is charged with an offense punishable by life imprisonment or if the safety of any person or the community cannot be reasonably assured.
NEWS
May 22, 1998
For now, the judge is still the person for whom all stand in a Pennsylvania courtroom. But imagine a different start to a trial: Order in the court. All rise, for the honorable . . . district attorney. Sound far-fetched? Well, if a proposed amendment to the state constitution goes ahead giving prosecutors the right to demand a jury trial, court criers might as well herald the prosecutor's arrival. Judges - not to mention defendants - may be asked to knock before entering the room.
NEWS
February 7, 1997
When the Philadelphia courts make headlines, the folks in black robes often light up the office switchboard, calling one another to discuss the news. But following a Sunday Inquirer report about the breaks judges sometimes give people convicted in robbery, assault and drug cases, the phones didn't jump off the hook. Judges know well this is the way the system works. The shock, maybe, comes for the rest of us, lulled by all the tough-on-crime talk by elected officials.
NEWS
March 25, 1993 | By Suzanne Gordon, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The lawyer for Charles Bagley, charged with murder in the 1989 death of his wife in a whirlpool bath, said yesterday that he might ask for a non-jury trial when the case goes to trial April 12. Neil Jokelson said yesterday during a pretrial hearing in Delaware County Court that it appeared likely that Bagley would waive his right to a jury trial. Judge Joseph P. Cronin said he would advise Bagley whether he felt such a decision was wise. In the hearing that began yesterday and is expected to continue today, Jokelson contended that the prosecution had not provided the defense with a theory as to how the alleged crime was committed.
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NEWS
April 17, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
CRYING AND emotional, Daniela Gonzalez yesterday told a judge that the last image she had of her 3-year-old son was of him in his coffin with his teddy bear. "This [murder] has completely torn my heart, and it's been ripped out and thrown into a 5-foot box," she said. Gonzalez, 25, was speaking at the sentencing hearing of her former boyfriend, Joseph Zysk, with whom she had a four-month relationship. On Monday, Zysk, 31, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the 2011 beating death of Gonzalez's son, Jason Larkin Jr., instead of facing a retrial.
NEWS
March 20, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
MORE DEFENSE attorneys in the upcoming trial of six ex-narcotics cops charged with conspiring to rob alleged drug dealers argued before a judge yesterday that the federal government's indictment is tainted by alleged victims who had perjured themselves. Michael Diamondstein, who represents ex-cop John Speiser, first contended earlier this week that all charges should be tossed out against his client because the main witness against Speiser had committed perjury. But before Diamondstein could argue his motion yesterday before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, another attorney, Gregory Pagano, who represents ex-cop Perry Betts, stood up and contended that another alleged victim in the indictment had also perjured himself when he testified before the investigating grand jury.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury is to resume deliberations Monday in the attempted murder trial of a Feltonville man accused of shooting a police officer in 2013. On Friday, the Common Pleas Court jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about an hour after hearing closing arguments in the trial of Eric Torres. Torres, 33, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and weapons counts in the Aug. 13, 2013, wounding of Officer Edward Davies during a struggle inside a Feltonville grocery.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2015 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury said Tuesday that drugmaker Johnson & Johnson should pay $2.5 million to a 20-year-old autistic man from Alabama - who developed size 46 DD breasts as a young teenager - because the company failed to adequately warn of that potential side effect from his use of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. This was the first case related to the condition called gynecomastia that went to a jury, but thousands more lawsuits are lined up in Philadelphia, California, Missouri, and other locations.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Recanting critical parts of a statement he made to detectives as a 16-year-old, the son of accused child-killer Margarita Garabito told a Philadelphia jury on Monday that his mother never hit or raised her voice at her 10-year-old stepdaughter. According to his signed statement of Oct. 21, 2009, to homicide detectives, Omar Jose Lorenzo said he heard the sound of "slapping" coming from Charlenni Ferreira's bedroom after his mother went in to discipline the girl. Lorenzo's statement also says he told detectives he saw his mother take a broom into Charlenni's bedroom to discipline her and then heard the girl crying.
NEWS
January 12, 2015 | By Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Common Pleas Court jury trial will resume its deliberations Monday in the case of a Point Breeze man accused of firing 17 shots at a 45-year-old man in a parking lot in 2012, killing him in front of his 5-year-old son. Jurors must decide whether Jahmir Harris, 25, is the man seen on security camera footage getting out of a vehicle and shooting Louis Porter, a married barber who had been standing near his Cadillac outside the Walgreens store at...
NEWS
January 11, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Shortly after 10 a.m. on Nov. 5, 2013, an aide phoned Ironworkers union boss Joseph Dougherty with the news that Local 401 business agent Edward Sweeney had been acquitted of threatening a woman who worked for a nonunion contractor. "That's good," said Dougherty in the call, recorded by the FBI. "Ed got lucky. There shouldn't be a crime against people like that. You should be able to do everything you like against them [people who use nonunion workers], and it's legal. " Five days of testimony in the federal racketeering trial of the 73-year-old union business manager have produced no evidence that Dougherty - "Joe Doc" to his members - directly ordered attacks on nonunion job sites.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
When former Montgomery County Republican Chairman Robert J. Kerns goes to trial next week on sex charges, he will have to convince only one person of his innocence. John L. Braxton, a Philadelphia senior judge, was assigned to the case after the Montgomery County bench was recused to avoid any potential bias for or against the onetime political heavyweight. Court documents show that Kerns, 67, has opted not to take his case before a jury, a strategy one criminal defense expert said could be risky.
NEWS
September 12, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
IT TURNS OUT that in Philadelphia being "the worst people in the city" may run in the family. Police this week obtained a warrant to arrest Jason "Cassius Jr. " Broaster, 18, of Harold Street near 26th in North Philadelphia, for the shooting death Monday night of Naaire Murray, 17, outside the victim's rowhouse on Huntingdon Street near 24th. Police found 19 spent shell casings both at 24th and Huntingdon and outside Murray's house after the fatal shooting. They also found a gun on his front steps, Chief Inspector Scott Small said at the scene.
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