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NEWS
December 4, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
IN THE early-morning hours of April 1, 2012, outside the Wheels of Soul motorcycle club in West Philly, a man shot another man in the chest, then stood over his victim, pumping eight more shots into him, a prosecutor told a jury yesterday. "Lying on the street, his body riddled with gunshot wounds," was Marcus Smith, 28, said Assistant District Attorney Guy D'Andrea. Smith was pronounced dead shortly afterward at a hospital. Authorities contend that a man named Cortez Pryor fired the shots, and that his cousin, Demetrious Young, helped.
NEWS
December 4, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eugene V. Alessandroni II, 77, of Chestnut Hill, a career prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, died Tuesday, Nov. 25, of cardiac arrest at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Alessandroni, known as "Gene," was the son of Walter E. and Ethel Alessandroni. His father, then state attorney general, had received the Republican Party's endorsement for lieutenant governor. He, his wife, and two others were headed to a campaign appearance on May 8, 1966, when their twin-engine plane crashed near Somerset, leaving no survivors.
NEWS
November 26, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
One veteran Philadelphia civil rights lawyer found the evidence exonerating Officer Darren Wilson murky. There were no accounts of Michael Brown's appearing to reach for a gun, no flash of something silver, the lawyer said. Another defense lawyer said he was both bemused and surprised to see all the attention paid by the grand jury to exculpatory evidence. "Did that happen because it was [about] a police officer?" the lawyer asked. "I think the answer is probably yes. " But a former prosecutor who won convictions against Philadelphia police for brutality was won over.
NEWS
November 21, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Bruce L. Castor Jr., then the Montgomery County district attorney, decided not to file sexual-assault charges against the comedian Bill Cosby in 2005, it wasn't because he didn't believe the woman who said Cosby had drugged and groped her. "Now I can say I thought he did it," Castor said in an interview Wednesday. "But back then, I would have been accused of tainting the jury that was going to hear the civil case. " Castor's revelation was not entirely new. Since leaving the District Attorney's Office, he has said that he believed a crime occurred but that there was not enough evidence to win a conviction.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A Philadelphia prosecutor asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday to reinstate the historic child-endangerment conviction against Msgr. William J. Lynn, former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. "He had a duty to protect children from priests, and he protected priests," said Hugh Burns, chief of the District Attorney's Office appellate unit. But Lynn's attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, said the monsignor could not be held responsible for a priest's sexual abuse of a child because the law at the time did not recognize him as a supervisor.
NEWS
November 12, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seven Sayreville (N.J.) High School football players embroiled in a hazing scandal that prompted the cancellation of the team's season will not be tried in court as adults, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said Monday. "The appropriate forum for the resolution of these cases is Middlesex County Family Court," Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said in a statement. "Asking the court to waive these seven juvenile cases to adult court would not best serve the interests of the victims, the community, or the defendants.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Somerset County, N.J., prosecutor said Friday that the four children of Cooper Hospital chief executive John P. Sheridan Jr. and his wife had no involvement in their deaths. Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, in a statement released to The Inquirer, said, "At this point in our investigation, we are very confident that the four sons of John and Joyce Sheridan played no role in the death of their mother and father. " John Sheridan, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene of a Sept. 28 fire at the couple's home in Montgomery Township.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino cut a colorful figure Friday as he swaggered into a federal courtroom in Philadelphia for his first appearance before a judge here in more than a decade. Dressed in a floral tie, designer shades, and a dapper suit, he needled the FBI agents who have tracked him for years and joked with court onlookers. "Can't wait to go to the parade," he quipped to news cameras on his way to court. Though Merlino says he has sworn off mob life since moving to Florida, for a few fleeting moments it was almost as if the mouthy, media-friendly former head of the city's crime family had never left.
NEWS
October 10, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
WHILE THE JUDGE said yesterday that it was "a horrible case" and that the three defendants were not "Boy Scouts," he barred the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office from retrying the men for the 2002 torture murder and robbery of a drug dealer. It was a stunning legal victory for a trio of defendants who - according to trial testimony - wrapped their victim's limbs and mouth in duct tape, beat him, placed a heated kitchen knife on his penis and other body parts, and shot him in the head.
NEWS
September 28, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the four months before the slayings of a 10-month-old and her grandmother in their King of Prussia apartment in 2012, accused killer Raghunandan Yandamuri went to a local casino 55 times, prosecutors said Friday - 30 times in the month before the slayings. Montgomery County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Yandamuri, 28, a former information technology worker, who is on trial in Montgomery County Court in the stabbing death of Satayrathi Venna, 61, and suffocation of her granddaughter, Saanvi Venna.
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