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Juvenile Court

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NEWS
November 11, 1987 | By DAVE RACHER, Daily News Staff Writer
Fearing that sentencing a 14-year-old boy to an adult prison for voluntary manslaughter would result in his being "physically and psychologically abused," Common Pleas Judge Paul Ribner yesterday said he wants Wesley Robinson retried and sentenced in Juvenile Court. "I don't think a mandatory sentence (of five years) as an adult would be appropriate in this case," Ribner said after rejecting motions for a new trial. Robinson, of 52nd Street near Cedar Avenue, was tried in adult court and convicted by a jury of the Jan. 15, 1986, fatal shooting of Andre Floyd, 18, who was mildly retarded.
NEWS
November 25, 2012
Two Judges, Thousands of Children, and a $2.8 Million Kickback Scheme By William Ecenbarger New Press. 272 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by David W. Marston Zero tolerance. That was Judge Mark A. Ciavarella's rigid formula for dealing with even trivial juvenile misconduct, and the tough boss of "kiddie court" made sure everyone in Scranton knew it. But almost no one - except Ciavarella's coconspirator, President Judge Michael T. Conahan - knew that zero tolerance was also the secret ingredient fueling a lucrative kickback scheme that paid millions to the corrupt judges.
NEWS
April 14, 2012 | By Joe Mandak, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH - A boy who was 11 when he was accused of killing his father's pregnant fiancée and her unborn son was found guilty Friday of their 2009 shotgun slayings. Lawrence County Court Judge John Hodge found Jordan Brown, now 14, delinquent, the juvenile court equivalent of a guilty verdict, in the deaths of Kenzie Houk, 26, and her unborn child. The judge closed the trial, held about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, to the media and all but close relatives because of the boy's age during the killings.
NEWS
April 15, 1990 | By Charles Pukanecz, Special to The Inquirer
The attorney for a 16-year-old Bristol Borough youth awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder has asked a Bucks County judge to move the case to juvenile court. Attorney Raymond F. McHugh filed the motion Tuesday on behalf of Mark Graber, 16, of the 500 block of Pond Street, who is charged with the Feb. 10 fatal shooting of Shane Reilly, 18, who lived in the 900 block of Spring Street, also in Bristol. McHugh contended that Graber should be handled as a juvenile because of his age and lack of a criminal record and because the juvenile system would be better able to handle Graber's needs.
NEWS
September 17, 1999 | By Deborah Bolling, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A 16-year-old boy charged with attempting to kill his mother and another woman last month will be tried as a juvenile, not an adult. Assistant Public Defender Maureen Repetto and Deputy District Attorney Kevin Kelly agreed to move the case of William J. O'Neill Jr. into Juvenile Court. Repetto said that A. Leo Sereni, president judge of Delaware County Court, was expected to sign the order. O'Neill was arrested Aug. 3 after his mother, Lori Cahill, and the other woman, Diane Galloway, said he had attacked them with a knife and rubber mallet, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
NEWS
September 4, 1988 | By Frank Reeves, Special to The Inquirer
The attorney for a 21-year-old Aston woman accused of setting a fire eight years ago that killed her uncle and cousin has asked that she be tried as a juvenile rather than as an adult. Kelly Ann Mullen of the 200 block of Raymond Avenue was arrested in April and charged with homicide and related charges in the fire, which killed her uncle Joseph Wallace, 47, and her cousin John Wallace, 13, on Feb. 5, 1980. Mullen, who was 12 at the time, was spending the night at the Wallaces' residence in the first block of Dogwood Lane, Aston, when she deliberately set fire to a hockey net in a first-floor den, according to a confession police said she gave on April 7. Before her arrest, authorities had questioned her about threatening telephone calls made to the home of Aston Police Chief James C. McCarthy in April.
NEWS
July 17, 2003 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An attorney for the 15-year-old girl accused of luring Fishtown teenager Jason Sweeney to his death filed a motion yesterday requesting that his client's murder trial be transferred from adult to Juvenile Court. Defense attorney William J. Brennan cited Justina Morley's young age, lack of a criminal record and history of mental-health disorders, and the nature of her alleged role in the May 30 slaying. According to testimony at the preliminary hearing last month, Morley lured 16-year-old Sweeney to a vacant lot with the promise of sex. There, prosecutors charge, three boys attacked Sweeney and beat him to death for the $500 he had earned working construction with his father.
NEWS
October 24, 1993 | By Anne L. Boles, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The case of an 18-year-old accused of killing a friend in a game of Russian Roulette has been transferred to juvenile court. James Burr of Caln Township faced charges of criminal homicide, murder and involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Anthony Glasco, 17, of Coatesville, last January. Burr was 17 at the time. In her Oct. 1 decision to transfer the case to juvenile court, Judge Paula Fransico Ott cited testimony from a psychiatrist, Bruce Mapes, that Burr was "immature for his age" and would need at least two years of rehabilitation.
NEWS
December 14, 1999 | By Rusty Pray, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Joseph P. McCabe Jr., 72, a retired Common Pleas Court judge who spent the latter part of his career on the bench adjudicating juvenile cases, died of complications associated with diabetes Sunday at his home in Cheltenham. Judge McCabe had been a longtime resident of Frankford before moving to Cheltenham a few years ago. He served on the bench from 1971, when he became a Municipal Court judge, to 1996, when he retired from Juvenile Court. He was first elected to Common Pleas Court in 1985.
NEWS
April 9, 1989 | By Barbara Scheidemann, Special to The Inquirer
They were secretaries, civil servants, business owners and nurses. Most were in their middle years. Some were married, one was a mother-daughter pair. All had a desire to help young people. About 25 prospective volunteers gathered in Mount Holly last week to learn about opportunities to work in one of several programs designed to make the county's court system more humane, more efficient and more accountable. The County Superior Court Family Case Management Division offers training sessions several times a year for citizens who want to work in juvenile programs.
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NEWS
January 9, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A COMMON PLEAS judge yesterday said a 16-year-old girl charged with third-degree murder in the stabbing death of a 14-year-old boy should have her case sent to the juvenile-court system, where she can get the mental-health treatment she needs. Judge Benjamin Lerner's decision to "decertify" Amber Hellesten outraged the family of victim Azim Chaplin; they stormed out of the courtroom. Crystal Gardner, 27, the victim's sister, raised her middle fingers at the judge on her way out. The family then was heard yelling in the hallway.
NEWS
September 2, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Erving Hurst looked at the giant chess pieces in front of him at the Spruce Street Harbor Park in Philadelphia and waited. His opponent, Steve Hahn, made his move. "My queen just took your queen," Hahn said. Hurst didn't hesitate. He moved one of his pawns to the last row of Hahn's half of the makeshift board so he could put his queen back in the game. "Now you're just being mean," said Hahn, 34, of Glenside. Hurst just smiled. Why not? A few minutes later, he won the match.
NEWS
May 20, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The teenager's offense was ugly. Montgomery County Juvenile Court already had found that the 18-year-old raped two young relatives four years before. That's why he was placed in a residential treatment program and told to return to court. But as he stood in front of Judge Joseph A. Smyth, the young Pottstown man seemed to have turned his life around. His attorney wanted probation ended and the case closed. Deputy District Attorney Sharon Giamporcaro would have none of it. "These two victims are still at a very young age - 10 and 12," she said.
NEWS
May 8, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Five defendants accused of being dealers in the Main Line drug ring waived their preliminary hearings in Montgomery County District Court Tuesday, sending their cases on to Common Pleas Court. Waiving district court hearings is not unusual, prosecutors said. In court were Willow L. Orr, 22, of Philadelphia; Reid Cohen, 18, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; Daniel R. McGrath, 18, of Glenolden; Christian S. Euler, 23, of Villanova, and Domenic V. Curcio, 29, of Philadelphia. One by one, they appeared before district Judge Kathleen Valentine in her Ardmore courtroom on the Main Line.
NEWS
April 8, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Taneshia Quannay Darden was 14 when she snatched a purse off a woman's shoulder in a Norristown alley. Darden's life on the run lasted a few steps - literally. A police van pulled into the alley seconds after the misdeed was done. Darden, now 19, admits that it was a stupid choice and that she never considered how it could affect her later in life. "I didn't really think too far ahead," she said. Many 14-year-olds - many children of any age, according to research on brain development - don't.
NEWS
February 19, 2014 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA In another major project for the Logan Square neighborhood, Mayor Nutter is expected to announce Tuesday that Kimpton Hotels will open a luxury hotel in the Family Court building at 1801 Vine St., according to people familiar with the project. Kimpton is working on the project with Peebles Corp. of New York City and local developers P&A Associates. The Kimpton group was one of three that submitted proposals for converting the 73-year-old building into a hotel. R. Donahue Peebles, founder of Peebles Corp., could not be reached for comment Monday.
NEWS
February 5, 2014 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
What will they think of me? The question brought Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. to tears. For years, Ciavarella, a former Luzerne County Court judge, had defiantly fought charges that he took kickbacks to sentence thousands of young offenders to private juvenile detention centers. During a moment of reflection while awaiting sentencing for corruption in 2011, Ciavarella broke down, imagining how his own grandchildren would perceive him. "I would hope that they understand that their grandfather screwed up big-time," he said, tears welling in his eyes.
NEWS
December 6, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
NASHEEN ANDERSON'S online posting of court documents and comments that could have endangered crime victims was "vile, wrong and ugly," a judge said yesterday, despite concluding that the teen should not be tried as an adult. After waiving his right to a preliminary hearing in Family Court and speaking with his mother and attorney, Anderson, 17, was allowed to plead guilty as a juvenile to felony witness intimidation and terroristic threats, a misdemeanor. The District Attorney's Office last month filed a motion requesting that the court try the Martin Luther King High student as an adult.
NEWS
December 6, 2013 | By Julie Zauzmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former Delaware County public defender contends that he was fired for bringing too many cases to trial rather than accepting plea deals for clients. Joseph De Ritis of Broomall says in a lawsuit that his reluctance to accept plea deals led to his June 2012 demotion from a trial team in the county defender's office to Juvenile Court. He is seeking $2 million in damages and reinstatement to his old job. In his complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia in October, De Ritis says the demotion came after he had worked for more than six years as an attorney in the defender office, which represents criminal defendants who cannot afford lawyers.
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