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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.
NEWS
September 24, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal prosecutors asked a judge Monday to place charter school founder Dorothy June Brown in custody for up to 30 days to undergo a mental evaluation, to determine whether she is competent to be retried on charges that she defrauded the four schools she established of $6.3 million. In its filing, the U.S. Attorney's Office said it was seeking to have Brown, 77, placed in federal custody for the exam "based on the information obtained to date. " No other details were given. The government's motion was filed the same day that prosecutors and defense attorneys had a conference with U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick in his chambers.
NEWS
September 11, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney called on the state Attorney General's Office on Tuesday to review the decision by Atlantic County authorities to allow Ray Rice into a program that could help him avoid jail time. "This video and the violence it shows is extremely disturbing," Sweeney said in a statement of video images of the NFL player knocking out his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, with a punch to the face inside a casino elevator. Sweeney asked that acting Attorney General John Hoffman determine if state law needs to be "rewritten or revised" to specify who qualifies for pretrial intervention.
NEWS
September 5, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writerdifilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
The skateboarding punk caught on video beating a city park ranger last month is a jobless convicted robber who has a long rap sheet and a history of fighting, according to court testimony and records. Curtis Tanner, 19, of Pottstown, "definitely is in a downward spiral," said Assistant District Attorney Joseph Whitehead, as he pleaded yesterday with a judge to add $100,000 to Tanner's $250,000 bail. But Philadelphia Municipal Judge Nazario Jimenez Jr. instead cut bail to $10,000, which is more in line with bail guidelines, saying: "He's not Al Capone.
NEWS
September 1, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
A special prosecutor is investigating whether the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane leaked confidential grand jury material to a newspaper in a bid to strike back at former prosecutors in the office who had been critical of her, according to several people familiar with the matter. The special prosecutor has issued several subpoenas to Kane's office and others to explore how secret records became public this year about a 2009 investigation by the Attorney General's Office involving Philadelphia political activist J. Whyatt Mondesire, the sources said.
NEWS
August 26, 2014
I DON'T LIVE in Ferguson, Mo., but I signed the national petition for Gov. Jay Nixon to name a special prosecutor to present evidence to the grand jury in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18. My online signature was No. 79,198. Grand juries favor the prosecution, and lawyers joke - although it's not a joke - that grand juries will indict a ham sandwich. It is Officer Darren Wilson who stands to be indicted. St. Louis County lead prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who will supervise the case against Wilson, said he will not step aside, but would not object to the governor appointing a special prosecutor.
NEWS
August 23, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The woman accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl last year after abducting her from a West Philadelphia elementary school researched child sex crimes on her personal computer, a city prosecutor disclosed Thursday. The new allegations about Christina Regusters, 21, were detailed by Assistant District Attorney Erin O'Brien in a pretrial-motions hearing before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart. Minehart permitted O'Brien to use the evidence at trial over the objections of defense lawyer W. Fred Harrison Jr. Also Thursday, the judge and lawyers completed jury selection with two final alternate jurors.
NEWS
August 21, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - A top state prosecutor told a judge Tuesday that the Attorney General's Office was "breaking new legal ground" in using "a pattern of conduct" - and not explicit "quid pro quo" evidence - as the foundation for its ambitious corruption case against Pennsylvania Turnpike officials and several others. Special Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter said that the pattern would prove that a cozy and corrupt culture permeated the turnpike leadership, and that contractors plied officials with baseball tickets, golf outings, lavish meals, and campaign donations in return for contracts.
NEWS
August 20, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Lawyers for six defendants charged with corruption in connection with Pennsylvania Turnpike contracts ripped into the state prosecution Monday in a last-ditch attempt to shut down or seriously weaken the case before a forthcoming trial. The lawyers said the indictment unfairly sought to criminalize the legal practice of dunning government contractors for campaign contributions. And the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, the defense lawyers said, had fallen far short in amassing evidence tying gifts and campaign money to specific contracts.
NEWS
August 14, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
The lead prosecutor in the looming corruption and bribery trial of former top turnpike officials and vendors - a signature case for the office of Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane - plans to leave her position ahead of trial. Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter is expected to handle pretrial arguments in hearing next week, but then depart from the Attorney's General's Office Aug. 29, according to people familiar with her plans. The Attorney General's Office declined to comment on the reports of Brandstetter's resignation.
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