November 1, 2014 |
For more than a year, Kevin Ricker enjoyed parking next to his $2,000-a-month apartment at the Piazza at Schmidts. He earned that right when he signed a lease to live at ground zero of the Northern Liberties redevelopment boom. On Thursday, however, he awoke to find that convenience had vanished - the financial analyst and 21 other Piazza residents could not find their cars. The culprit was not a thief, but an invisible foe who had issued an overnight towing order for reasons that remained shadowy as the day wore on. Was this a beef over a property dispute?
September 23, 2000 |
The Mets might finally have found the way to solve the Phillies riddle. Play Mike Piazza. The catcher, who almost pulled New York into the W column with a pinch-hit RBI single Thursday night, single-handedly made sure his team didn't fall victim to the Philly Phlu again. He launched two home runs - one to leftfield, one to right - to help the Mets to a 9-6 win last night at Veterans Stadium. It is only the fourth time New York has beaten the Phillies this season. "You're reading all the time about the troubles he's having," manager Terry Francona said.
November 23, 2011 |
Philadelphia prosecutors finished their case Wednesday in the 2009 double slaying at the Piazza at Schmidts complex with a medical examiner's testimony that victim Rian Thal was killed by a gunshot wound to the head - with the gun barrel in contact with her scalp. The testimony of Gary Collins, the city's acting chief deputy medical examiner, painted a portrait of Thal, 34, not as the accidental shooting victim of a botched robbery but as someone who was executed. With the completion of the case by Assistant District Attorneys Carlos Vega and Jennifer Selber, the trial resumes Monday with what could be a very brief defense on behalf of the three defendants.
November 22, 2011 |
A COMMON PLEAS Court judge yesterday ordered the jury in the prosecution of three men in the 2009 double murder at the Piazza at Schmidts to ignore the testimony of a key prosecution witness - "as if it never happened," the judge said - after the witness refused to answer questions from a defense attorney. Called to the stand for more than two hours on Friday, admitted shooter Donnell Murchison immediately stated, "I do not wish to testify," then gave one-word answers to some details of the crime under questioning by the prosecution.
November 17, 2011 |
At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, Texas truck driver Edward Emerson Jr. appears fearless for obvious reasons. But on June 27, 2009, Emerson told a Philadelphia jury on Thursday, he was "scared, terrified" - so frightened he urinated on himself. Emerson was afraid he was going to die, just like Rian Thal and his fellow trucker Timothy Gilmore, whom he saw shot to death through the peephole of Thal's new apartment in the upscale Piazza at Schmidts complex in Northern Liberties. Emerson, 43, was brought to Philadelphia from a federal prison to testify in the Common Pleas Court trial of three men on felony murder charges in what prosecutors say was a botched drug robbery.
June 11, 2010 |
The trial for those charged in last summer's double homicide at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties has been set for November 2011. Attorneys on both sides tried to schedule an earlier date, but the many defendants and lawyers involved meant conflicts were unavoidable. The date was set Thursday morning. Eight people have been arrested in connection with the June 26, 2009, slaying of Rian Thal and Timothy Gilmore, including the man accused of masterminding the killings and a woman who is expected to plead guilty to helping the gunmen stake out the victims.
December 5, 2011 |
This morning's scheduled sentencing of Katoya Jones - who pleaded guilty to participating in the 2009 Piazza at Schmidts double murder - was postponed to Jan. 19 to give lawyers more time to prepare. Jones, 27, was to have been sentenced by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner on her guilty plea to two counts of third-degree murder in the June 27, 2009 slayings of event-planner Rian Thal and friend Timothy Gilmore at the new Piazza at Schmidts complex in Northern Liberties.
December 27, 2011 |
It was just before 6 p.m. and still daylight on June 27, 2009, when police descended on the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. The newly opened apartment and shopping complex was teeming with people enjoying cocktails at the courtyard restaurants. Upstairs, on the top floor of the seven-story Navona building on North Hancock Street, residents had just discovered the bodies of a man and a woman, riddled with bullets, in the hallway. Initially, police were unsure what the victims - 34-year-old Rian Thal, a party promoter well-known in the city's nightclub scene, and Timothy Gilmore, a 41-year-old long-haul trucker from Ohio - had to do with each other.
November 16, 2011 |
TWO FORMER confidants of the man on trial for allegedly masterminding the June 2009 double murder/robbery at Piazza at Schmidts testified yesterday about how they became involved in the crimes that cost them their freedom. Katoya Jones, 27, a former pharmaceutical-company employee who lived at the Piazza in Northern Liberties, and Langdon Scott, 28, a North Philadelphia crack dealer with a rap sheet, also placed the alleged ringleader, Will Hook, 43, a/k/a Keith Epps, at the center of the plot.
November 8, 2011 |
As the number of defendants dropped from six to three, Philadelphia prosecutors Monday withdrew the threat of the death penalty from the trial of those charged in the double slaying during a botched 2009 drug robbery at the Piazza at Schmidts complex. Restricted by a judge-imposed gag order, prosecutors could not discuss why they decided to take capital punishment off the table in the charges against alleged gunman Antonio Wright. Wright, 30, was one of three alleged gunmen who on June 27, 2009, opened fire on party planner Rian Thal and her friend Timothy Gilmore in a confrontation in the hallway outside her posh seventh-floor apartment in the Navona, one of several buildings in the Piazza complex in Northern Liberties.