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NEWS
October 23, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
Two former foes did big favors Wednesday for Hillary Rodham Clinton. First, Vice President Biden got out of her way in the Democratic presidential contest, announcing from the White House that he would not run for the nomination. Then, writer David Brock, once a member of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" that hounded the Clintons and now head of a pro-Clinton super PAC, argued in a Philadelphia speech that the House Select Committee on Benghazi should be disbanded. "There's no reason to keep this farce going," Brock said to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.
NEWS
October 22, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Words such as silly and facade were deployed Tuesday by prosecutors and their witnesses as they continued to sketch the business portfolio of Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. But for Matthew Amato - Fattah's onetime business partner and former roommate at Drexel University - one word was enough to sum up his experience working closely with the son of a longtime Democratic congressman: ridiculous. "It was all from our minds - made up," Amato testified Tuesday, the third day of Fattah's federal bank- and tax-fraud trial.
NEWS
October 21, 2015 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com, 215-854-5987
IN FEDERAL COURT yesterday, a former Drexel dormitory suitemate of Chaka Fattah Jr. described the Henry Avenue apartment Fattah and his onetime freshman roommate moved to as filled with pizza boxes, big-screen television sets and two closets full of high-end clothing that Fattah wore. But he said he saw little work being done there. "They were just collecting pizza boxes," Albert Guerraty told jurors yesterday. He said he only saw Fattah laying on a couch "watching 'Law & Order' every day" and Fattah's roommate, Matthew Amato, spending time at a nearby apartment pool and bar. Yet, he said that Amato was driving a BMW, which Fattah later said cost $48,000, and that Fattah was driving a Range Rover Sport, costing $70,000.
NEWS
October 21, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Some college buddies settle their long-ago squabbles over beers. For Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr., the chance to hash out old disputes with a former Drexel University suite mate came Monday in a federal courtroom through a contentious cross-examination. Albert Guerraty - testifying as a government witness on the second day of Fattah's bank and tax fraud trial - painted an unflattering portrait of his one-time pal, describing exorbitant spending on designer clothes, state-of-the-art stereo equipment, and luxury cars - though, as he recalled it, Fattah rarely had the cash to cover his household bills.
NEWS
October 2, 2015 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
After more than six hours of deliberation that began Tuesday, the jury in the case of a Deptford police officer charged with murder asked to hear his testimony again Wednesday afternoon. Jurors began watching a video recording of James Stuart's testimony, which was nearly two hours long, around 2:45 p.m. They later left for the day and were to resume deliberating Thursday. Stuart, 31, was off duty when he shot David Compton, 27, in the face early on Jan. 5, 2013. The men had spent a night out at the Sewell bar Lazy Lanigan's before the shooting, and were watching a movie at Stuart's Deptford home when the gunshot erupted from Stuart's off-duty service weapon.
NEWS
September 2, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Luis "Bebe" Soto may not have intended to kill anyone when he shot into the crowd during a 2013 Kensington street brawl, but the shots he fired still ended a bystander's life, a Philadelphia jury concluded Monday as it convicted him of third-degree murder. But the panel cleared him of a more serious first-degree murder count in the April 9 shooting death of Amanda Martinez, a charge that would have resulted in an automatic life sentence. Assistant District Attorney Carlos Vega said he would seek a maximum punishment of 57 to 114 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Dec. 4. Soto, dressed in a purple plaid dress shirt and sweater vest, had no visible reaction as the verdict was announced.
NEWS
August 30, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The man accused of shooting into a crowd in Kensington, killing a woman and wounding three men in 2013, told a Philadelphia jury Friday that he was innocent - that he fled with scores of others at the sound of gunfire. When the shooting happened, Luis "Bebe" Soto told the Common Pleas Court jury, he was on parole and "trying to change my life. " "I just came home from upstate," said Soto, a onetime drug-gang member who had been out of prison just three months when the shooting happened on April 9, 2013.
NEWS
August 19, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury will begin deliberations Tuesday in the murder trial of Shaun Warrick, accused in the Valentine's Day slayings of two female cousins in 2011. Testimony in the trial, which began Thursday, came to an unexpectedly sudden end Monday morning after Assistant District Attorney Thomas Lipscomb rested his case and defense attorney Jack McMahon announced that the defense would present no evidence. Warrick, 32, of Logan, told Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson that he did not wish to testify in his defense following a meeting with his mother and McMahon.
NEWS
August 8, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
The foreman of the jury that is charged with deciding whether a former Philadelphia Eagle and his mother are guilty of mortgage fraud charges told a Superior Court judge Thursday that the panel wanted to rehear the testimony of an alleged coconspirator. The jurors want to see if it conflicts with what he told the FBI and other investigators when he agreed to become a prosecution witness, he said. Irving Fryar, a wide receiver who was selected for the Pro Bowl five times in his 17-year NFL career, and his mother, Allene McGhee, 74, a retired school bus driver from Willingboro, are charged with conspiracy and theft by deception for allegedly cheating seven lending institutions in South Jersey and Philadelphia out of $1.2 million in 2009.
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