April 9, 2015 |
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.
April 3, 2015 |
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.
April 2, 2015 |
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.
March 19, 2015 |
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.
March 12, 2015 |
"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.
March 12, 2015 |
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.
March 6, 2015 |
A witness testifying Wednesday for defense lawyer Nancy Raynor - hit with nearly $1 million in court-imposed sanctions last Oct. 31 because one of her experts offered banned testimony in a medical-malpractice trial - said Raynor had taken steps to ensure that the information was not heard by the jury. The witness, a trial technician who had been working for the defense team, said 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.
February 20, 2015 |
A Pennsylvania appellate court has temporarily halted imposition of nearly $1 million in penalties against defense lawyer Nancy Raynor, who was sanctioned last year for breaching a court order barring her witnesses from testifying that a woman suing for medical malpractice had been a longtime smoker. The Superior Court order, issued Wednesday, gave Raynor access to business accounts that had been frozen and halted garnishment of fees from insurance-industry clients. It also ordered Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Panepinto to hold a hearing on new evidence that Raynor's lawyers contend shows she took steps to ensure witnesses not offer precluded testimony.
February 14, 2015 |
A Philadelphia homicide detective testified Thursday about a pivotal moment when, she says, accused child-killer Margarita Garabito admitted hitting her 10-year-old stepdaughter in the head with a metal broom handle. It was late afternoon on Oct. 21, 2009, Detective Norma Serrano told the Common Pleas Court jury hearing Garabito's murder trial, and she was talking with Garabito in a homicide interview room at police headquarters. Serrano was there, she told the jury, because she spoke fluent Spanish and Garabito did not speak English.
February 7, 2015 |
The next-door neighbor of accused child-killer Margarita Garabito told a Philadelphia jury Thursday that she felt betrayed by a woman she considered a "close friend. " Wanda Torres spent an emotional two hours testifying about the year leading up to the Oct. 21, 2009, death of 10-year-old Charlenni Ferreira, Garabito's stepdaughter. Her testimony could help and hurt both the prosecution and the defense in Garabito's murder trial. Questioned by Assistant District Attorney Andrew Notaristefano, Torres recalled watching Garabito walking with Charlenni shortly before her death.