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.
September 23, 2015 |
THE SENTENCING hearing for three men convicted in the shooting of a witness got off to a rocky start yesterday with one of the defendants refusing to obey a judge's order and getting booted out of the courtroom. At the start of the hearing, Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott asked the three to stand and state their names, but Shaheed Williams remained sitting and blurted out, "For what?" "Because I said so," the judge told him. "I'm not . . . " Williams began to say before the judge then ordered a deputy sheriff to "take him out" of the courtroom.
September 20, 2015 |
A Glenside man was sentenced to state prison Friday for beating his 12-year-old foster child with a broom to the point that the boy needed 18 stitches and multiple surgeries to fix the scar. Claybon Hawthorne, 50, locked two of his foster children in a room in 2013 and beat them. Prosecutors said he beat the 12-year-old boy with a belt and a broomstick, grabbing another broomstick after the first one broke. In arguing for prison time for Hawthorne, Montgomery County prosecutors displayed large posters of the children's wounds after the beatings.
August 31, 2015 |
LUIS SOTO, the Kensington man on trial for the fatal shooting of a bystander during a large street fight in April 2013, yesterday took the witness stand in his own defense and admitted to a lot of things. He was out there, near the corner of Lee and Somerset streets, when Amanda Martinez, 21, was gunned down, Soto, 27, testified. He had been a drug dealer who spent two and a half years in state prison and had gotten out on parole three months before the killing, he told the Common Pleas jury of 10 women and two men. Soto, who is also being tried for shooting three men during the incident, even told the jury that he had two cellphones - not for drug dealing - but for each of his girlfriends.
August 2, 2015 |
Two South Jersey men have been sentenced to state prison for their roles in an international drug ring that shipped cocaine from California to New Jersey, acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced Friday in Camden. The two were charged in January 2014 in connection with "Operation Next Day Air," which investigated the ring allegedly led by a Jamaican recording star, Andrew K. Davis, formerly of Swedesboro. More than $1.4 million in drugs, cash, and weapons were confiscated. Authorities alleged that the ring, which extended to Jamaica, used the U.S. mail and other parcel delivery services to send shipments of cocaine.
July 3, 2015 |
A 23-YEAR-OLD serial rapist, who strangled strangers he grabbed off the street and lured teens into homes, was sentenced yesterday to 55 to 178 years in state prison. Eric Rogers, a tall man dressed in a long-sleeved white thermal shirt and blue prison pants, showed no remorse. When asked by Assistant District Attorney Branwen McNabb if he understood that he was deemed a sexually violent predator and as such would be required to register with state police if he ever got out of prison, Rogers calmly said: "I don't consent.
May 28, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Pay now, or pay more later. That was the message Gov. Wolf and law enforcement officials delivered Tuesday outside the state prison near Harrisburg to call for more money for early-childhood education, an investment they said has been shown to boost high school graduation rates and reduce the number of people in prisons. "If you want to make Pennsylvania a place where we have safe neighborhoods and people can grow up and have fulfilled lives - and not end up in places like this - then we need to invest in early-childhood education," said Wolf, surrounded by area district attorneys and other law enforcement officials outside the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill.
May 2, 2015 |
Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church official convicted in the clergy sex-abuse scandal, returned to prison Thursday after a Philadelphia judge ordered him to resume his sentence for child endangerment. Lynn, 64, was taken to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, about four miles across Northeast Philadelphia from the rectory of St. William parish in Crescentville, where he had lived on house arrest since January 2014. Lynn's lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom, said he would challenge Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina's ruling.
May 1, 2015 |
A COMMON PLEAS judge yesterday ordered Monsignor William Lynn - the nation's first Catholic Church official convicted of endangering children in his role as a supervisor - back to prison. Lynn, 64, dressed in a white turtleneck, gray sweatshirt and blue jeans, his pink-hued face appearing rounder than it did when he was released from prison in January 2014, seemed resigned to his fate. During the half-hour hearing before Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, Lynn solemnly looked in front of him, his head bowed, his hands clasped on the defense table.
April 10, 2015 |
AMIN GIBBS, 35, of Southwest Philadelphia, a man who has spent much of his life in prison, let his anger get the best of him yesterday. "Lies, lies, lies!" he shouted as he was sentenced in Common Pleas Court to 17 1/2 to 35 years in state prison after being convicted of aggravated assault and weapons offenses in an October 2012 shooting in West Philadelphia. He had to be restrained and then was forcibly removed from the courtroom. In November 2012, Gibbs was accused of being the gunman who killed college student Zykia Sanders, 22, in a shooting in which she was a bystander.