April 17, 2016 |
The April evening began with a trip to the Phillies game. But the fun night out for a group of 21-year-olds from Lansdale ended with a gruesome accident that split a car in half. One passenger was left dead on the side of the road as the driver fled the scene. Emotion generated by the tragedy remained fresh three years later, as a Montgomery County judge Friday sentenced Sean Sperl, now 24, to three to six years in a state prison for the 2013 accident that killed Ryan Petrille. "This is a really, really sad day for two families who are in such pain on so many levels," said Judge Gary S. Silow.
April 15, 2016 |
A 25-year-old man has been charged with murder and weapon offenses in the shooting death of a man who had intervened in his son's fight in Kensington. Eric Dennis, also known as Eric Daniels, of the 4800 block of Mulberry Street in East Frankford, has been charged with killing 41-year-old Anthony Wilkins, police said Wednesday. On Sunday night, Wilkins was called to the 2000 block of Castor Avenue in Kensington, where his son, a juvenile who lives in the neighborhood, was involved in a fight with another person, police have said.
March 13, 2016 |
A Sicklerville man has been sentenced to 75 years in state prison for a 2011 double homicide in Lindenwold, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Friday. James M. Harris, 28, was convicted by a jury in December of two counts of first-degree murder and two weapons offenses in the shooting deaths of Kevin Gould, 24, of Berlin, in Camden County, and Daquan Hines, 22, of Lumberton, Burlington County. Both victims were fatally shot inside a parked gold Toyota Camry outside the Pine Ridge Apartments, 1900 Laurel Road, about 9 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2011.
February 26, 2016 |
A South Philly gang member who unleashed a barrage of 17 bullets with an AK-47 rifle at rival gang members on a street corner in 2007 was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum term of 42 1/2 to 85 years in state prison. "The firepower you used in that residential area of South Philadelphia . . . they use less in Afghanistan," Common Pleas Judge Anne Marie Coyle told defendant Sammie Campbell, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Mitrick said after the hearing. Campbell, 27, nicknamed "Sammie the Shooter," was part of the 7th Street gang.
February 20, 2016
Gov. Wolf Thursday announced the launch of a fresh review of the state's criminal justice system to find ways to cut prison costs and reduce crime. The data-driven study will be broad in scope, examining everything from how bail is set to finding alternatives to incarceration, state officials said. The state's corrections budget is roughly $2 billion and is one of the biggest factors in driving up budget costs. State officials have said it costs $41,000 a year on average to incarcerate an offender in a state prison.
February 7, 2016 |
Sitting in a Philadelphia courtroom Friday after violating probation for the fourth time in eight years, Meek Mill asked a judge, again, for a second chance. "I believe I can be the bright star you expect me to be," he told Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley. A month ago, Brinkley threatened to send the North Philadelphia rapper to state prison for violating his probation for a 2008 drug and gun conviction. But after a 41/2-hour hearing in which a life coach, a charter school executive, a former judge, and an R&B legend testified on Mill's behalf, Brinkley sentenced him to at least 90 days of house arrest instead.
January 21, 2016
HARRISBURG - The Wolf administration said Tuesday that Pennsylvania's prison population decreased by 842 inmates last year, continuing a decline stemming from criminal justice reforms enacted in 2012, but a union leader said the numbers mask other problems. At a news conference at the Harrisburg Community Corrections Center, Gov. Wolf and Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said the reforms are reducing the number of offenders in prison and diverting parole violators to the less-expensive local centers also known as halfway houses.
December 17, 2015 |
After hard time at state prison, after months of nothing but prison-yard worms, after two bumpy buses and a train trek to Philadelphia while stashed away in a peanut butter jar, freedom was near for the Frog. His unlikely captor, Eric Miskovitch, stood in the grass on the Schuylkill River Trail on Dec. 7, holding his palm-size jailhouse pet, until recently the pride of C Block. And if freedom was imminent for the Frog, it was a newfound pleasure for Miskovitch. Only two hours earlier, Miskovitch, 39, of Allegheny County, had been paroled from Graterford Prison, where he had spent twelve years for a robbery and a string of car thefts - and for the very bad habit of leading police on high-speed chases through the streets and suburbs of Pittsburgh.
November 21, 2015 |
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has denied the appeal of a former Chester County district judge who hoped for a shorter sentence than the 16 to 32 months in state prison she received for hiding a citation against her son. Lawyers for Rita Arnold, 59, of Downingtown, said they planned to ask the court to reconsider the decision. "We continue to feel that sentencing a first-time offender who pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and we hope other Superior Court judges will agree," said Nicholas D. Ressetar, Arnold's attorney.
October 23, 2015 |
THE ACLU OF Pennsylvania is suing the secretary of the state Department of Human Services and two other officials for what it calls a "consistent and continuing failure" to provide adequate mental-health care for people ruled incompetent to stand trial in criminal cases. In the suit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, the ACLU rails against the state for having "the longest delays in the country" for competency restoration treatment, which would allow the cases to proceed. It claims the lack of resources violates the patients' rights to due process, as well as the American Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. "Our clients in this case are the forgotten among the forgotten," said Witold Walczak, the ACLU of Pennsylvania's legal director.