March 5, 2014
The demagoguery of politicians exploiting the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner to score points toward their next election is blatant and sickening. Among them is Sen. Pat Toomey, who has joined those vigorously opposing the nomination of civil rights attorney Debo Adegbile to head the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. It would be hard to find a better candidate for the position than Adegbile. But Toomey (R., Pa.), Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and others say he should be disqualified because he was the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's director of litigation when the organization advocated on behalf of Faulkner's killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, during appeals of his conviction.
June 27, 2013 |
KERMIT GOSNELL, the abortion doctor convicted in May of killing three babies born alive by cutting their spines, pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges yesterday, reversing his earlier guilty plea and thus forfeiting a deal offered by the prosecution. If Gosnell, 72, had pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing thousands of painkillers - including OxyContin and Xanax - he would have served 20 years concurrent to time he already is serving: three life sentences for first-degree murder.
June 22, 2013 |
A 21-year-old Delaware County man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2011 hit-and-run deaths of two Collingdale teenagers. Maurquis Javon Thompson of Chester, sentenced Friday in Delaware County Court, was on probation for drug offenses and was driving without a license the night of Dec. 9, 2011. He ran a red light in Glenolden and slammed into Michael J. Taylor and Mark McNeill, both 15, as they crossed Chester Pike. The teens had just walked two girls home. Taylor, whose body smashed into the windshield, died at the scene.
December 5, 2012 |
After several twists and about-faces, the murder case against Stephen Headley effectively ended Tuesday when he agreed to accept a potential 50-year prison term for fatally stabbing a South Jersey woman two years ago. Flanked by family and friends of Nicole Ayres, 22, an ace high school and college softball pitcher, the Southampton man calmly pleaded guilty to the Sept. 13, 2010, attack and told a judge he understood he likely would serve at least 421/2 years without parole. Counting time served, Headley, 30, would be over 70 before he could be released.
September 13, 2012 |
NEARLY THREE months after the U.S. Supreme Court declared mandatory life-without-parole sentences unconstitutional for minors, the state's Supreme Court justices heard suggestions for what to do about the 500 inmates already serving that sentence. But the only thing clear after Wednesday's 90-minute hearing at City Hall: There's no easy answer. A ruling could take months. The issue is huge in Pennsylvania, which leads the nation - and the world - in the number of juveniles it condemns to prison for life.
May 18, 2012 |
Melanie Ann Ray, accused of participating with her boyfriend in the shooting death of another man to steal his truck, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday in Chester County Court. "She decided to accept responsibility," said her lawyer, Alexander Silow of West Chester. Ray, 26, of Polk in northwestern Pennsylvania, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, Silow said. She was charged in the Aug. 7 death of Andre J. Dupuis, 32, of Aston.
December 10, 2011 |
A Philadelphia man who was found guilty of carjacking a Russian immigrant in Frankford and killing her five hours later in a Burlington County field was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years Friday. Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert said Lenroy Laurance, 29, would not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 94 years for the Sept. 2, 2009, murder, carjacking, kidnapping, and robbery of Lyudmila Burshteyn. The 57-year-old naturalized citizen was sitting in her parked car, a new Nissan Murano, when four men, including Laurance, approached her and ordered her to lie on the floor in the back of the vehicle.
December 9, 2011 |
A Philadelphia man who was found guilty of carjacking a Russian immigrant in Frankford and then killing her five hours later in a Burlington County field was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years Friday. State Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert said that Lenroy Laurance, 29, won't be eligible for parole until he has served at least 94 years for the Sept. 2, 2009, murder, carjacking, kidnapping, and robbery of Lyudmila Burshteyn. The 57-year-old naturalized citizen was sitting in her parked, new Nissan Murano, when four men, including Laurance, approached her and ordered her to lie on the floor in the back of the vehicle.
January 4, 2008
There's more to homicide rate than location I read the Dec. 30 article "In Camden, a puzzling increase in homicides" and was particularly interested in the chart showing the homicide rates for selected cities. I feel that some additional information should be included when compiling such a list: a breakdown of the demographics. If the statistics about race, median income, unemployment rates, welfare recipients, education levels, renters vs. homeowners, the percentage of single-parent families, etc., were included, it might allow readers the chance to evaluate what could be causing the homicide increase.
October 31, 2007 |
Before a courtroom packed with blue uniforms and stone-faced family members yesterday, the man who killed a beloved police officer in a barroom ambush last year pleaded guilty to murder. Before being sentenced to life imprisonment - thus avoiding the death penalty - Solomon Montgomery, 25, apologized to the family of Officer Gary Skerski, 46, the father of two children. He singled out Skerski's wife, Anne, for "taking a stand" and "having the courage" to agree to the plea deal.