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Preliminary Hearings

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NEWS
July 1, 1986 | By Aaron Epstein, Inquirer Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the public and the press have a constitutional right to attend preliminary hearings in criminal cases. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger declared for the majority of the justices that courtroom doors may be closed only when there is a "substantial probability" that an open hearing would produce publicity damaging to a defendant's right to a fair trial, or when reasonable alternatives to closing the hearing could...
NEWS
May 21, 1989 | By Sergio R. Bustos, Inquirer Staff Writer
The first of more than two dozen scheduled preliminary hearings for the 18 alleged drug dealers arrested during an April 27 drug sweep in West Chester was held last week before District Justice Dawson R. Muth. Charges against seven of eight defendants, each of whom are charged with various counts of selling cocaine, were bound over to the Chester County Court of Common Pleas. The seven were: Charles Jaramillo, no age given, of the 300 block of West Gay Street. Hector Otero, 30, of the first block of Oak Place.
NEWS
August 28, 2008 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two Philadelphia men charged in unrelated robbery-murders of immigrant merchants this year waived their rights yesterday to preliminary hearings and agreed to have the charges proceed directly to trials. Lawyers for Thomas Foggy, 19, and Cordell Adams, 24, confirmed the waivers during brief appearances before Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge David C. Shuter. Foggy and Adams, both of whom are in prison without bail pending trial, are accused of involvement in what police have said are two of five robbery-murders of Philadelphia immigrants in recent months.
NEWS
April 16, 2012
HERE'S WHAT will be making news in Philly this week: CITY COURT Prelim in witness death Philadelphia police and prosecutors believe that Jorge Aldea and his ruthless street gang plotted and carried out the execution-style murder of Rosemary Fernandez-Rivera, a Mexican-born store clerk also known as Reyna Aguirre Alonso. They believe that Aldea, 23, wanted Fernandez-Rivera dead because he believed that she saw him gun down Louis Chevere, 22, Nov. 25, in front of the Caribe Mini Market, on Mutter Street near Westmoreland, in North Philly, where she worked.
NEWS
March 21, 2002 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos and Clea Benson INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Preliminary hearings, which have been held in the Criminal Justice Center in Center City since January, will be moved back to the neighborhood police districts in May, the head of the Municipal Court system said yesterday. Municipal Court Administrative Judge Seamus P. McCaffery said he originally moved the hearings to the Justice Center to reduce the number of cases that are dismissed or postponed because witnesses or lawyers fail to show up. The move was designed in part to help defense attorneys who had to run back and forth between criminal trials in the courthouse and hearings in the police districts.
NEWS
November 26, 1996 | By Jere Downs, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Brian C. Peterson and Amy S. Grossberg, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Grossberg's newborn baby, each waived the right to a preliminary hearing, a court official in Delaware said yesterday. Fred Kirch, chief clerk of the New Castle County Superior Court in Wilmington, said lawyers for both defendants filed court papers indicating they would waive the hearings, which had been scheduled separately for tomorrow. "We waived it, obviously, and obviously there are good reasons why," Peterson's attorney, Joseph Hurley, said yesterday.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Eight months after Pennsylvania's Supreme Court revived the use of county indicting grand juries, in an effort to fight victim-witness intimidation, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has opted to use one in the case of reputed mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo. Nicodemo, 41, was arrested Dec. 13 in the daytime slaying of 50-year-old Gino DePietro outside his South Philadelphia home. The killing occurred as a federal court jury was hearing evidence in the racketeering trial of seven alleged Philadelphia mobsters.
NEWS
March 7, 2010 | By Nancy Phillips and Craig R. McCoy INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Judge William Maruszczak's courtroom is hardly the stuff of Law & Order. Often, there isn't even a prosecutor. Police officers put on criminal cases, outlining only the barest details to persuade the judge to hold a defendant for trial. Victims seldom take the stand. Defense lawyers ask few questions. No stenographer keeps a record. Hearings conclude within minutes. "We move 'em in. We move 'em out," said Maruszczak, a district judge in King of Prussia. "We don't mess around.
NEWS
September 2, 2004 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A judge ruled yesterday that the younger brother of a North Philadelphia boy beaten to death last week will remain in a foster home, according to the Department of Human Services. Meanwhile, a preliminary hearing for the couple charged in the child's death was postponed until Nov. 9. Desiree Pizarro, 20, and her boyfriend, Victor Santana, 21, were jailed without bail in the Aug. 24 death of Pizarro's 3-year-old son, Luis Rivera Jr. Each is charged with murder, conspiracy, involuntary manslaughter, and child endangerment.
NEWS
October 4, 1995 | By Wendy Walker, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Charges of welfare fraud have been filed against 18 people whom state officials said failed to report all their income while receiving welfare payments. Authorities said the individuals received welfare payments for which they were ineligible in amounts ranging from $1,156 to $6,263. The charges were filed in District Court in West Chester Sept. 27 by John M. Jarrell of the state Office of the Inspector General after the state Department of Public Welfare reviewed the defendants' payroll records.
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NEWS
May 18, 2016 | By Jeff Gammage, Staff Writer
A father and son charged with killing a man who was their brother and uncle appeared in court Monday to ask that they be granted a preliminary hearing on the evidence against them. Prosecutors want to proceed directly to trial against Edward R. Kirby, 59, and Edward A. Kirby, 34, charged with killing their relative in a scheme to fraudulently collect life-insurance money. Judge Diana Anhalt said she would rule in two weeks. Neither man spoke in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.
NEWS
December 3, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THE WIFE of a Chinese deliveryman who was shot and killed in April jumped up from her seat in a courtroom gallery yesterday and ran toward the bulletproof window that separated her from the two teenage defendants. Wailing, she banged loudly on the glass partition, which separates the gallery from the court in Room 306 of the Criminal Justice Center. At the time, defendant Tyquail Duffy, 16, who faced a preliminary hearing on murder charges, was seated at the defense table. His codefendant, Sahmir Walker, 15, who is cooperating with prosecutors, had just finished testifying against Duffy.
NEWS
March 27, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
PROSECUTORS yesterday said they will present "overwhelming" evidence against accused cop killers Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams - including proof that the two brothers fired fatal shots into Police Officer Robert Wilson III. "The fact that both individuals fired shots that killed Officer Wilson - that absolutely will be proven at the preliminary hearing," Assistant District Attorney Brendan O'Malley told reporters after the defendants' hearing was...
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
January 14, 2014
YOUR January 7 story, "City's grand jury policy has positives, downfalls," inaccurately and incompletely portrayed the law of the state of Pennsylvania, how it operates in Philadelphia and the history of the case against Rasheed Kellam. Even before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reauthorized indicting grand juries in 2012, the indicting grand jury was used by forty-eight other states and the federal system. What the article characterizes as a "third world" practice is actually the law of the land in virtually every jurisdiction in this country.
NEWS
January 5, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
NORRISTOWN Montgomery County lawyer Gregory Noonan showed up Friday for his preliminary hearing on drug charges as defendant - and as counsel. In a case in which out-of-the-ordinary seems routine, he also served up a bit of culinary criticism. "I have to admit, your honor, the food in Chester County is better than the food in Montgomery County," he said to District Judge Margaret Hunsicker about jail cuisine. County detectives arrested Noonan, 53, of Lansdale, on Dec. 20. He faces 10 charges, including two felony counts of manufacturing, delivering, or possessing drugs, which were filed after a tip launched an undercover operation.
NEWS
December 12, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
SEAN BENSCHOP and Griffin Campbell, charged in the June 5 building collapse in Center City that killed six people, will have a joint preliminary hearing Feb. 18, a judge ruled yesterday. Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan also denied defense attorney Daine Grey's request to reduce Benschop's $1.6 million bail on most of the charges he faces and refused to give him bail on one count of conspiracy to commit third-degree murder. Benschop, 42, is charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter and numerous related counts for using an excavator to knock the wall of a building being demolished onto the Salvation Army thrift store at 22nd and Market streets.
NEWS
March 19, 2013
The third suspect in a Coatesville home-invasion killing surrendered to police Saturday. Dominique M. Lee, 20, turned himself in two days after police arrested his alleged accomplices, Marquis Rayner, 23, and Camren Horne, 20. Police had been searching for Lee, Officer Chris McCarthy said. Police said Lee, Rayner, and Horne, wearing black T-shirts on their heads, broke into a house on Merchant Street in June 2012. Dominique Williams, 20, who was playing a video game in the house, was killed by a shotgun blast.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Eight months after Pennsylvania's Supreme Court revived the use of county indicting grand juries, in an effort to fight victim-witness intimidation, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has opted to use one in the case of reputed mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo. Nicodemo, 41, was arrested Dec. 13 in the daytime slaying of 50-year-old Gino DePietro outside his South Philadelphia home. The killing occurred as a federal court jury was hearing evidence in the racketeering trial of seven alleged Philadelphia mobsters.
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