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Testimony

NEWS
September 25, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In two years as a patrolman on the streets of North Philadelphia, Officer Edward Mintzer said, he never heard anything like the screams from the little boy who opened the door that night at 3213 Cecil B. Moore Ave. "It was almost unintelligible screaming, animalistic screams," Mintzer told a Common Pleas Court jury Tuesday. Then, Mintzer said, he made out the words: "They got my mom. They got my dad. " Inside the Strawberry Mansion rowhouse, just before 3:30 a.m. on March 5, 2012, the cause of the boy's screaming was clear.
NEWS
August 21, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two years ago, a veteran police narcotics officer was labeled a liar by a Philadelphia judge who tossed evidence seized from an alleged drug dealer, destroying the prosecution's case. The Philadelphia Police Department has removed Christopher Hulmes from street duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation; the city has paid $150,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit against him, and another is pending in federal court. But Hulmes told another Philadelphia judge on Tuesday that he was telling the truth about the June 14 arrest of alleged Kensington drug buyer Richard Hill.
NEWS
June 10, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Criminologists call it mind-boggling but true: A third of people who confess to crimes didn't do it and incriminated themselves without physical coercion by police. Social scientists say years of research have let them identify types of people especially vulnerable to confessing to something they did not do, and that expertise is now being used in criminal trials. But not in Pennsylvania, where a divided state Supreme Court has said no to using expert testimony to help jurors understand the puzzling phenomenon of false confessions.
NEWS
May 31, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
The U.S. Attorney's Office has asked the New Jersey legislative committee investigating September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge to postpone its plans to take testimony from the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a committee spokesman confirmed Thursday. Patrick Foye was scheduled to testify before the committee on Tuesday, along with Port Authority Commissioner William "Pat" Schuber. Federal prosecutors are investigating the lane closures, which tied up traffic for four days in September and were allegedly orchestrated by former allies of Gov. Christie.
NEWS
May 8, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Southwest Philadelphia man was held for trial on murder Tuesday in the beating death last July of his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter. Edward Golphin, 26, was ordered by Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons to stand trial in the July 16 slaying of Seanita Brown. The chief witness against Golphin was Seanita's mother, Josephita Brown, 25, who was charged alone last July in her daughter's death. But on Tuesday, Brown was back in court, testifying for Assistant District Attorney Lorraine Donnelly under an agreement in which Brown pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy and child endangerment in exchange for testifying against her boyfriend of four years.
NEWS
April 24, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
As 14-year-old Nathaniel Wells recalled, "We started busting on them. " It was Wells and two teen boys on one side of 19th Street in South Philadelphia and two teenage girls on the other, taunting each other about looks and clothes. It was harmless until it wasn't, when 14-year-old Azim Chaplin looked up and said: "I'm stabbed. " "I lifted up his shirt and just saw blood," Wells said. Wells' testimony on Tuesday persuaded a Municipal Court judge to order 15-year-old Amber Hellesten to stand trial on a charge of third-degree murder in the Feb. 11 stabbing that killed Chaplin in a confrontation in the 2100 block of Watkins Street.
NEWS
April 18, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
A GATHERING of friends from the Cambodian community turned into a chaotic, bloody scene last month when one man pulled two handguns and opened fire on another man who he believed killed his brother, witnesses said during a preliminary hearing yesterday. Sophal "Paul" Siv, 46, showed no emotion as he listened to testimony that persuaded Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni to hold him for trial on murder and related charges. Siv is accused of killing Hai Luu, 39, of Cherry Hill, in the predawn hours of March 30 inside a Logan residence on Old York Road near Ruscomb Street that doubled as a karaoke party bar. Savanary Uk, Luu's fiancee, testified that Luu and Siv had mutual friends and that, initially, everything was fine that night.
SPORTS
March 12, 2014 | Daily News staff and wire reports
OSCAR PISTORIUS vomited in the dock and retched repeatedly and loudly at his murder trial yesterday in Pretoria, South Africa, as he heard graphic details of the injuries sustained by the girlfriend he shot, including a head wound that was probably instantly fatal according to the pathologist who performed her autopsy. Reeva Steenkamp was shot with bullets designed to expand on impact and cause maximum damage, Prof. Gert Saayman testified after he identified the type of bullet from fragments in Steenkamp's skull.
NEWS
March 2, 2014 | By Seth Zweifler, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA In 2012, Democrat Jose "J.P. " Miranda won 95 percent of the vote in an election that landed him a seat in the state House. Little more than a year later, he was arrested, along with his sister, on corruption charges. On Friday, in a marathon preliminary hearing that pitted the siblings against several former legislative assistants, Miranda's fall from grace continued. Municipal Court Judge David C. Shuter ruled that the case against Miranda and Michelle Wilson should proceed to trial.
NEWS
February 27, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
FOR A long time yesterday, it looked as if Rudolph McGriff, who had beaten five murder arrests, might beat a sixth. Two witnesses recanted during McGriff's preliminary hearing, with one claiming he saw nothing because he's "half-blind. " But then an 11-year-old boy took the stand. Myzeh Jessie-Ross calmly testified about the frequent fights that his mother, Malisha "Lai Lai" Jessie, 29, had endured with McGriff, her longtime on-and-off beau. Just hours before she was gunned down on McGriff's Tioga block last April 7, Jessie-Ross said, the broken-up pair got into a shouting match about McGriff's new girlfriend.
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