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Testimony

NEWS
April 16, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
In his 24 years as a Philadelphia narcotics investigator, Jeffrey Walker testified at countless court hearings, providing the evidence that sent dozens of drug dealers to prison. He took the witness stand again Tuesday - this time to implicate himself and six of his former colleagues as rogue cops who terrorized the streets with gang-like efficiency. As long as the Narcotics Field Unit kept the headline-grabbing drug busts coming, he told a federal jury, its supervisors never asked too many questions.
NEWS
April 13, 2015 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Through an open door came the sound of labored, heavy breathing and groans as President Abraham Lincoln lay dying from a gunshot wound to the head. First lady Mary Todd Lincoln passed from the room into a hallway, moaning with inconsolable grief, "O, my God, and have I given my husband to die?" The long death vigil at the Petersen House in Washington unfolded before James Tanner, who'd been summoned to record the testimony of witnesses to the assassination at Ford's Theatre. Though not widely known, Tanner's shorthand and transcribed cursive from the night of April 14, 1865, and morning of April 15, 1865, survived and are kept in an acid-free box in a vault at the Union League of Philadelphia.
NEWS
April 10, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tony Woods strutted into federal court Wednesday with the swagger of Shaft, the gingham shirt and pink bow tie of a Southern dandy, and an Afro wig worthy of a 1970s blaxploitation film. Then - after the giggling over his appearance died down - he walked jurors through one of the most divisive incidents yet in the corruption trial of six members of an elite Philadelphia police narcotics unit. Woods, testifying in disguise and under a pseudonym because he works undercover, played a central role in a 2012 sting operation in which FBI agents hoped to catch Officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser stealing cash from a suspected drug dealer.
NEWS
April 9, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The woman who proudly called herself "the Michelangelo of buttocks injections" - even as she was on trial for murder in the death of a woman she injected with liquid silicone - has had a change of heart. Two months from a June 11 sentencing date that could put her in prison for up to 70 years, Padge-Victoria Windslowe has penned a four-paragraph epiphany she calls "Testimony. " "The free deposit of silicone into the human body kills. .... Point blank, if anyone tells you that it doesn't, does not care for your life and are placing you at risk," wrote Windslowe, 43, who is also known as "Black Madam.
NEWS
April 9, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last week, pot dealer Jason Kennedy told a federal court jury that when a Philadelphia narcotics officer burst into his condo with a sledgehammer in 2010, he thought he was being robbed. He tackled the man to the floor, he said, and was punched in the mouth for his efforts. "Do you like to fight?" Kennedy was asked as his testimony continued Tuesday. He replied: "Yeah, if I'm being attacked. " And for the rest of his time on the witness stand, Kennedy, 42, did everything but throw a punch at those asking the questions to try to prove it. The corruption trial of six members of an elite Philadelphia drug squad continued with blistering cross-examination of Kennedy - a three-hour verbal tussle that left both witness and defense counsel all but bruised and bloodied.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
With a burly police officer on each of his handcuffed arms and a 19-story drop below him from his penthouse apartment balcony, drug dealer Michael Cascioli was asked a troubling question. "You've seen the movie Training Day ?" Cascioli recalled Police Officer Thomas Liciardello asking, referencing the 2001 film featuring Denzel Washington as a dirty cop. "This is Training Day for . . . real. " What followed, as Cascioli told a federal jury Wednesday, is one of the most disturbing instances in a case filled with allegations of outrageous behavior by a rogue police narcotics unit.
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Main Line prep-school assistant basketball coach told a federal jury Tuesday that Philadelphia narcotics officers robbed him blind during a 2007 search of his City Avenue apartment. Their purported haul? A safe stuffed with $80,000 in drug proceeds, clothes, a pair of flashy sunglasses, and a DVD he had rented from Blockbuster. What Robert Kushner appeared less eager to discuss, as he testified at those same officers' federal corruption trial, was what brought the police to his apartment in the first place.
NEWS
March 19, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday shed another problematic witness against six Philadelphia narcotics officers accused in gang-style beatings and robberies of drug suspects, prompting renewed calls from defense lawyers that the entire case should be tossed. Citing "contradictions" in his story, prosecutors withdrew all charges stemming from the grand jury testimony of Christian Cirigliano, a South Philadelphia man who said the accused officers kicked in his door and stole $3,200 from him on March 7, 2010.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
"GET BUSY. " Those are the words Aaron Rogers told the Daily News that he heard in 2013 right before two men killed his 17-year-old brother, Tremaine, and those are the words that jurors have repeatedly heard over the course of four days of testimony in the trial of Robert Anderson, 29, and Tyreek Hall, 27, the men who are accused of Tremaine's slaying. But Aaron never got a chance to get up on the stand during trial and tell the jurors those words or what he witnessed that day because two months before his brother's murder trial, Aaron's life was claimed by gunfire at 65th Street near Lansdowne Avenue in Overbrook, just a block away from where Tremaine lost his life.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a sometimes intense hearing, testimony resumed Tuesday in a bid by defense lawyer Nancy Raynor to overturn nearly $1 million in sanctions imposed last Oct. 31 because one of her experts offered banned testimony in a medical-malpractice trial. The witness, a trial technician who had been working for the defense team, said last week that he heard Raynor tell the expert witness, Dr. John Kelly, that Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Panepinto had banned any mention that a woman at the center of the trial was a smoker.
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