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NEWS
February 6, 2016
Rafael Robb, the former University of Pennsylvania professor sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for killing his wife in their Upper Merion home in 2006, is again coming up for parole - and stirring a new round of opposition. Ellen Gregory Robb's family members, who have successfully argued in the past to reverse a parole board decision to release Robb, plan to renew their concerns in a meeting with the board next Tuesday. "We will collectively show that Robb remains controlling, manipulative, and unremorseful for his horrific actions," her brother Gary Gregory said in a statement Thursday.
NEWS
January 27, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Samantha Melamed, STAFF WRITERS
Roughly 500 Pennsylvania inmates serving life terms for murders they committed as teenagers will be given a chance to argue for their eventual release under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued Monday. In a 6-3 opinion, the justices made retroactive their 2012 decision that sentencing juveniles under guidelines that make life without parole mandatory is "cruel and unusual," an acknowledgment that minors should not be punished for criminal acts in the same way as adults. The ruling affects more than 1,500 inmates nationwide, who must now be granted new sentencing hearings or the opportunity to be considered for parole.
NEWS
January 14, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
A 21-year-old Philadelphia man accused of a nine-day campaign of violent crime that left three people dead and ended in a shootout with police was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday in a plea agreement that spared him a possible death sentence. By the time the two-day hearing ended, Justin Mackie had pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in three separate shootings in North Philadelphia in July 2013. Mackie, who told police his street name was "Bang Bang," also pleaded guilty to taking part in an armed robbery and shooting of a cabbie on June 4, 2013, in East Mount Airy.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
IF SHAKREE BENNETT had served his full state prison sentence, then the Temple University student who police said he raped and robbed in late September might be worrying about her studies instead of trying to piece her life back together. But that's not the reality in which the victim - or Bennett - lives. With just six months of freedom under his belt after being released from prison in March, Bennett allegedly robbed and raped the 20-year-old victim by a construction dumpster as she walked home from Temple's library on the night of Sept.
NEWS
September 18, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A 24-YEAR-OLD MAN who last year burglarized an unoccupied house owned by City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez was sentenced yesterday to eight to 23 months in county jail with immediate parole. Edwin Diana had already served eight months in jail after his arrest last year before his family posted bail for him in November. With immediate parole, he does not need to return to jail. Diana, who was a family friend of the councilwoman, committed the burglary because of an addiction he had to Percocet and Xanax pills, said his attorney, Gary Silver.
NEWS
September 17, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
A West Chester drug addict accused of injecting heroin into a kitten was sentenced to time served in jail, parole and community service Tuesday for choking and kicking the animal. Chester County Common Pleas Judge Phyllis Streitel also ordered James P. Myers to complete drug and alcohol evaluations. The judge cited the "sick and disturbing scene" police discovered on Aug. 3, 2014, when an officer found the animal unresponsive with a rope around its neck and head trauma lying next to Myers' car. The car contained dozens of needles, hundreds of empty heroin baggies and a box of cat feces, prosecutors said.
NEWS
September 11, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The image in the minds of relatives of the last moments of Antorie Coates and his girlfriend, Alida Maria Cruz, could not have been more ghastly: shot to death in a van, doused with gasoline and set on fire. On Wednesday, relatives gave a message to the man who admitted killing them: "We forgive you. " Courtroom observers said the atmosphere at the guilty plea and sentencing of 38-year-old William Deputy of Upper Darby was so intense that he wept openly as Coates' sister, Akeya Coates, and mother, Eva Whaley, made victim-impact statements.
NEWS
June 26, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FORMER Philadelphia police officer against whom witness-intimidation charges were withdrawn earlier this week in a case that involves the murder of another man will remain in county jail until the state parole board decides if he should be released. David Wade Howard, 51, will remain at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Road in Holmesburg, Philadelphia Prison System spokeswoman Shawn Hawes said yesterday. Laura Treaster, a spokeswoman with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole said the board had not yet been officially notified that Howard's intimidation charges were withdrawn.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
GREGORY "CHOPS" Scott's family loved him so much that when he was murdered in 2013, his nephew - whose bride Scott had offered to walk down the aisle - got married at his uncle's funeral so he could still be a part of their wedding. Scott's community loved him so much that more than 2,000 people attended his service. It seems only one person in this world didn't get along with Scott - his own cousin, James Scott - and yesterday it took a jury less than an hour to convict James Scott of first-degree murder for the killing of Gregory Scott, 55, outside of his West Philadelphia home on Feb. 27, 2013.
NEWS
May 3, 2015 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jason Scott McClay would help out a customer he knew couldn't afford a purchase. He had a great sense of humor, and was described as the ultimate teammate and the glue that held his family together. A huge hockey fan, the manager of a Rite-Aid store in Chester once treated a coworker to a Flyers game. That coworker, Tariq Mahmud, 25, would later engineer the botched robbery that led to McClay's murder. On Friday, Mahmud, 25, who had called McClay his friend, and two codefendants were sentenced to life in prison without parole.
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