November 15, 2013 |
It's life without parole for Axel Barreto, the Philadelphia stepfather who shot dead three teenagers who came to his home last year to fight his stepson. The jury that held Barreto's fate in its hands could not reach an unanimous decision on whether to sentence him to death or life, so Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino Nastasi was required to impose a life sentence. The jury of seven woman and five men had deliberated for two full days. Barreto showed no emotion when his sentence was announced.
November 7, 2013 |
MEMBERS OF TWO teenage gangs whose Facebook feuding and fisticuffs led to three youths being shot to death last year by an enraged stepfather don't come from "Spanky and Our Gang" or "Leave It to Beaver," opposing attorneys told a Philadelphia jury yesterday. But in summing up triggerman Axel Barreto during the closing arguments of his capital-murder trial, Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy and defense attorney Jack McMahon painted diametrically contrasting images of the defendant - starting with his alleged motive.
October 6, 2013 |
A PHILADELPHIA JURY on Monday will begin deciding the fate of a man on trial for allegedly shooting six bar patrons - one fatally - after he had been kicked out of the Nicetown establishment for smoking marijuana. Wayne James, 47, who represented himself during the trial in the Court of Common Pleas, claimed he was not the gunman despite security video that appeared to show him firing into the crowded Genesis Tavern in June 2011. During what constituted a closing argument Friday, James, instead of pleading his case to the jurors, showed them a series of clips from the security video.
September 28, 2013 |
Alicia Nixon-James took the witness stand at a murder trial Thursday to talk about the little boy who had called her Mommy. She had waited long, grief-filled months for this moment, and she wanted to be strong - strong for Khalil. Nixon-James raised Khalil Wimes with love for the first three years of his life as his foster mother. He thrived in her care - a happy, healthy 3-year-old who slept with his favorite Diego doll, loved smashed bananas, and whose asthma Nixon-James had curbed with regular doctor's visits and almond milk.
September 11, 2013 |
A day after he allegedly stabbed a homeless man to death in Doylestown, Dale Wakefield told his sister he "just snapped. " Calling from his cellphone on July 3, Wakefield told her he was drinking at Mugs to celebrate his 21st birthday and then started to walk home to her apartment. "He said there was a man who said something to him next to the bus station, asking him for money," Wendy Wakefield testified Monday in Warrington District Court. "He tried to ignore him. And then the man kept on asking him for things and shoved him. And my brother just snapped.
August 16, 2013 |
Bennett Levin, the former commissioner of the Department of Licenses and Inspections who blasted the agency two weeks ago in testimony to City Council, wants an apology from Mayor Nutter for his suggesting that Levin was out of touch with L&I's current operations. Appearing before a Council committee investigating the city's demolition practices, Levin said the Center City building collapse that killed six people in June was the latest in a series of fatal accidents that were at least partially attributable to poor performance by L&I and other city agencies.
August 9, 2013 |
THE MONTH before Jaquinn Brewton died, his left foot was too swollen to fit into a shoe, he had a mark on his arm and his bushy hair was a sight, police officer Teresa Sanchious told a jury yesterday. After the officer spotted the boy and Nadera Batson, his godmother, in a drugstore parking lot, the woman was "evasive" when she asked about the boy's foot, Sanchious said. She took Batson's name and phone number, told her where to get Jaquinn a free haircut and later called the Department of Human Services.
August 1, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The battle over Pennsylvania's voter identification law touched on familiar themes Tuesday as the state concluded its case after almost three weeks of testimony. Witnesses for the Department of State testified for several hours detailing the extent to which they worked to make information about the law widely known - including reaching out to the elderly, veterans groups, the homeless, and immigrant communities - to ensure residents without ID would understand the steps needed to get it. Attorneys for the plaintiffs questioned the same officials about the wide range of difficulties voters encountered and the disparity in estimates on how many remain without proper ID. Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.
July 31, 2013 |
Vacation Ownership Group president Adam Lacerda, on trial in Camden on charges that he headed a $2.4 million scheme to defraud 225 time-share owners, loved his mobile-phone app, a company insider turned prosecution witness told a jury Monday. It was so handy for helping perpetuate the fraud that he and Lacerda laughed about it, Brian Corley, 28, testified in the federal case against Lacerda, 29, and his wife, Ashley, 33, owners of Vacation Ownership Group, and three employees. "It was more of an uncomfortable laugh.
July 27, 2013 |
A retired criminal defense attorney Thursday undercut convicted killer Ricky Welborn's claim that he told the lawyer he was responsible for a 1995 killing for which two North Philadelphia men are serving life in prison. "He never told me something like that," testified Daniel H. Greene. "That's something I would have remembered. " Welborn's signed statement to the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, dated June 11, 2011, is a key piece of evidence in its effort to get a new trial for Eugene Gilyard and Lance Felder.