December 10, 2013 |
LUKE D'ERCOLE'S decision last year to buy four handguns for a 16-year-old drug dealer turned his already drug-scarred life upside down. Within a week of getting the last gun, the young dealer - D'Ercole's girlfriend's son - shot a man during a petty dispute. D'Ercole, beset by guilt, then attempted suicide by jumping from a third-story window at his parents' Northeast Philadelphia home. After being released from the hospital, D'Ercole told authorities that he straw-purchased the guns for Michael Burak in exchange for heroin.
December 4, 2013 |
THE BUCKS COUNTY man who pleaded guilty in October to third-degree murder for killing a Philadelphia Highway Patrol officer in a 2012 drunken-driving crash was sentenced yesterday to 10 to 20 years in state prison. John Leck, 48, was also sentenced by Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina to serve 10 years of reporting probation after he is released and to pay $16,000 in restitution and fines. Leck also will not be allowed to drive while under court supervision, the judge ordered.
November 21, 2013 |
AUG. 25, 2012, WOULD have been a routine Saturday for Alison Walsh, a neurologist, if it hadn't been for the five men who jumped her at 11th and Lombard streets. Walsh, 31, was walking to her car at 6 a.m., headed to Mercy Hospital when Markeese Bullock approached. "He smiled at me and said, 'Good morning,' then grabbed me and Tased me," Walsh said yesterday. "Get down, bitch!" she recalled Bullock barking before he yelled to his accomplices, "Get her. " They did: punching, kicking and shooting her repeatedly with a stun gun. Bullock, 20, dragged Walsh by her handbag across the sidewalk - bruising her back - before she let go. The five thieves then took off, leaving her bloodied, bruised and with a broken nose.
October 31, 2013 |
A suspended Paulsboro High School biology teacher was found guilty Tuesday of official misconduct and luring for sending sexual messages in 2009 and 2010 to one of his students using a MySpace account on which he posed as a boy. Michael Furey, 49, of West Deptford, was found guilty by Superior Court Judge Walter L. Marshall of second-degree official misconduct and third-degree luring. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29. Marshall also revoked Furey's $50,000 bail, placing him in jail pending sentencing.
October 20, 2013 |
WEST CHESTER Rita Arnold, the former Chester County district judge convicted of concealing a citation filed against her son, can get out of jail while her sentence is appealed with $100,000 cash bail, a judge ruled Friday. Arnold's attorney filed the request for bail, along with a motion to reconsider her sentence, after Arnold was sentenced Tuesday to serve 16 to 32 months in state prison. Arnold, who had been a judge for 16 years, is ill with a rare form of breast cancer. Her daughter said Friday that her health is at risk if she cannot continue to see her current doctors.
October 18, 2013 |
CHESTER Standing in front of SCI-Chester, a state prison in which half of the inmates likely do not have a high school diploma, four prosecutors Wednesday urged funding for early childhood education, saying it is a "pay now or pay later" situation. District Attorneys Thomas Hogan of Chester County, John J. Whelan of Delaware County, Risa Vetri Ferman of Montgomery County, and Seth Williams of Philadelphia came together to ask for a $75 billion increase over 10 years for national preschool programs.
October 17, 2013 |
WEST CHESTER A former district judge who admitted concealing a citation filed against her son was sentenced to 16 to 32 months in state prison Tuesday, a punishment far beyond the maximum term recommended by Pennsylvania guidelines. In handing down the sentence, Chester County Court Senior Judge John Braxton rejected Rita Arnold's plea for house arrest or probation so she could get treatment for breast cancer. Arnold, a district judge for 19 years, underwent a double mastectomy Sept.
October 10, 2013 |
CORY HARLEY skipped work at a pizza place Nov. 10, got "smashed" at a bar, and while wandering in South Philly early the next day, walked up behind an unsuspecting woman, slashed her face and stole her purse. Harley, 31, admitted all that in a soft voice yesterday while pleading guilty to the 4 a.m. attack Nov. 11 that left a 6-inch scar across Ashley Hackett's jaw. Harley, however, declined to apologize to Hackett, 24, or to the dozen relatives and friends who were in court to support her. That didn't sit well with Common Pleas Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who sentenced Harley to 15 to 30 years in state prison for attempted murder and robbery, under the terms of a negotiated guilty plea.
October 2, 2013 |
RICHARD DODDS Jr., a Montgomery County man convicted in July of aggravated assault for shooting and nearly killing a Temple University student after a 2010 off-campus Halloween party, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in state prison yesterday. Dodds, 24, who was a student at Gwynedd-Mercy College at the time of the shooting, apologized for firing a hollow-tipped bullet from his legally registered Glock handgun into the chest of Ian Hirst-Hermans, 23. Dodds had gotten into a fight with the victim and his friends and was tossed out of the party at a home on 17th Street near Diamond.
August 17, 2013 |
After family members and colleagues testified about their loss, the man who bought the gun used to kill Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox was sentenced Thursday in Montgomery County Court. Judge Joseph A. Smythe ordered Michael J. Henry, 31, of Philadelphia, to serve 20 to 66 years in prison for selling a gun to Andrew C. Thomas. Thomas, an ex-convict, could not legally purchase a gun. So he paid Henry to buy him nine firearms, including a 9mm Beretta. In September, Thomas, 44, used that Beretta to kill Fox after the 34-year-old K-9 officer pursued him on foot into a hilly area near the Schuylkill River Trail.