May 27, 2016 |
A former staffer and longtime confidant told a federal jury Wednesday that he helped to falsify U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's campaign finance reports and steal thousands of dollars of political donations for just one reason: "The congressman asked me," Gregory Naylor said as he testified on the eighth day of Fattah's federal corruption trial. During three hours on the stand, Naylor - a political strategist whose friendship with Fattah dated back decades - delivered the most damaging testimony so far in the government's case, directly linking Fattah to schemes to cover up and pay back an illegal $1 million campaign loan, and to use cash from the congressman's campaign coffers to repay his son's college debts.
April 22, 2016 |
Ruby Ellis and Cheryl Hanible were raped and strangled in 1989 in a part of North Philadelphia since obliterated by redevelopment. But the years did nothing to dim the emotions of their friends and relatives Wednesday as testimony began in the trial of Rudolph Churchill, the South Jersey man whose DNA allegedly linked to their slayings a quarter-century later. Hanible's sister sobbed and wiped away tears as Assistant District Attorney Gwenn Cujdik projected autopsy photos of the two women, cords tightly wrapped around their necks.
April 17, 2016 |
Andrea Constand's lawyer on Friday accused Bruce L. Castor Jr. of lying when the former Montgomery County district attorney raised questions about her client's credibility during a February hearing in Bill Cosby's sex-assault case. Castor's testimony was untruthful, lawyer Bebe Kivitz said, and was meant to undermine Constand as the key witness in Cosby's criminal case if it proceeds to trial. "He was on a crusade," Kivitz said, urging a federal judge in Philadelphia to grant her access to communications Cosby's lawyers had with Castor before he took the stand.
April 15, 2016 |
Philadelphia police-officer staffing levels are the lowest in 22 years, Commissioner Richard Ross told City Council on Wednesday, and the department is considering changing its age and college-credit requirements to see if that might alleviate the problem. "We need to get boots on the ground more so than any crime strategy," Ross said during testimony at a hearing on the department's budget. In his three hours of testimony, Ross stressed the need for more officers and addressed Council members' concerns about surveillance cameras and police overtime.
April 12, 2016
DUANE BUCK was convicted in 1997 of murdering his ex-girlfriend and a male friend. After a Texas jury determined that he was likely to pose a continuing danger to society, it sentenced him to death. How did the jury conclude that he posed a future threat (a finding that state law requires as a condition for imposing the death penalty)? Simple: Buck is black and, according to a psychologist who testified at the sentencing hearing, race is one of a number of "statistical factors" that can be used to predict whether a person will reoffend in the future.
April 6, 2016 |
The jury deciding if Daniel Dougherty set the fire that killed his two young sons in 1985 concluded its third day of deliberations on Monday - a session in which its questions centered on the key defense witness. The tension of days without a verdict was evident in the courtroom. Dougherty, 56, looked weary on the eleventh day of his retrial. None of the lawyers in the case reported a restful weekend. On Monday morning, the jury sent a note to Common Pleas Court Judge J. Scott O'Keefe, asking if it could have a transcript of the testimony of defense expert John Lentini, head of Scientific Fire Analysis L.L.C.
February 7, 2016 |
The mastermind behind the abduction and torture of a Jewelers Row shop clerk last year never once apologized as he was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison Friday. As recently as last month, Salahudin Shaheed was arguing that he would be vindicated by the testimony of his 54-year-old victim. And though she was not in court as U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III handed down punishment for what he described as "the most heinous crime I have seen on my 25 years on the bench," reminders of the woman's torment hung over every part of the proceeding - except Shaheed's unaffected demeanor.
November 26, 2015 |
Brianna Stewart's choice came down to this: testify against her boyfriend under a grant of immunity or spend at least six months in prison. Prison won, though it means that Stewart, 18 and eight months pregnant, will deliver her baby in prison. "I can't do this. This is stressing me out," Stewart told Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni on Tuesday. "I'm eight months pregnant. This is not my situation to be in. " Deni cited Stewart for contempt of court and sentenced her to six months in jail for refusing to testify after she was granted immunity from prosecution by the District Attorney's Office.
November 11, 2015 |
PHOTOS OF the bodies of Atlanta Deveney and her 12-year-old son - found among burned, charred debris in the back bedroom closet of their apartment in Wissinoming - were displayed on a large screen at the murder trial of the man accused of killing them. The boy, Elijah Rosado, had been wrapped in a sheet. After he was taken out of the closet, a close-up photo was taken, showing a knife protruding from his neck. Another knife was embedded deep in his left side, plunged into his rib cage.
October 30, 2015 |
CHAKA FATTAH JR. said yesterday that he is thinking about seeking a mistrial in his federal trial on bank- and wire-fraud charges. That came hours after the lead FBI investigator in the case surprised a federal courtroom by testifying, from the witness stand, that he had leaked information on the raid on Fattah's Center City apartment to the Inquirer . Under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul L. Gray, FBI Special Agent Richard Haag...