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Testimony

NEWS
January 10, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia man serving life in prison for the 1970 murder of a bar owner was granted parole Thursday after a legal battle over what he alleged was prosecutorial misconduct. Clarence R. Davis, 64, had been sentenced to life without parole for the shooting death of Arthur Gilliard during a shotgun robbery of the Polka Dot Bar near 15th and Clearfield Streets. On Thursday, Davis pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of third-degree murder, as well as robbery and two firearms offenses, in a deal with the District Attorney's Office approved by Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian Harris Ransom.
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Even in Texas, testified business owner Suzanne Lee, Philadelphia's Ironworkers Union Local 401 was reputed to be one group you didn't want to cross. But when one of her best customers at Ultimate Tower Service Inc. asked her to work on a 1,000-foot television tower in Roxborough, she overcame her reluctance, she told a federal jury Tuesday. "We had multiple jobs from the owner of the tower, American Towers, and we didn't want to turn any work down," Lee said. "But we didn't want to come to this area.
NEWS
November 10, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
A PHILADELPHIA jury will begin to deliberate the fate of fallen hero ex-cop Richard DeCoatsworth on Monday, after having absorbed three days of trial testimony filled with allegations of lies and violence. DeCoatsworth, 28, who survived a shotgun blast to the face as a rookie cop in 2007, is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment for allegedly attacking Sadie Martinez on May 9, 2013 at the Port Richmond home they shared. Martinez, 29, testified Wednesday that she and the defendant got into an argument about his car keys at 1 a.m. which resulted in him punching her in the mouth, choking her and throwing numerous objects at her. After fleeing the house barefoot, Martinez said, she screamed for help awakening the next door neighbors, who called police.
NEWS
November 10, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
The early-morning car accident that left Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane with a concussion last month occurred hours before she was scheduled to testify in a grand jury investigation into possible improper leaks by her office, according to people with knowledge of the case. It was the second time this fall Kane canceled plans to take the stand, the sources said. Kane was scheduled to appear that morning in a Montgomery County courtroom, where a special prosecutor is examining how confidential records about a 2009 investigation run by her Republican predecessors became public.
NEWS
October 24, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Days after Rahim Hicks was shot dead outside a Chester restaurant, Kandie Meinhart gave police a statement implicating Jamir Williams, her child's father, as the shooter. Less than two weeks ago, she met with prosecutors to prepare for his trial. But in testimony Wednesday in Delaware County Court, Meinhart said she could not remember many details - even after prosecutors played her taped statement for the jury. The sudden bout of forgetfulness from what was supposed to be a key witness frustrated Assistant District Attorney Sandra Urban, who asked that Meinhart be treated as a hostile witness on the second day of Williams' trial.
NEWS
October 23, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rahim Hicks loved to fish, enjoyed NASCAR, had an entrepreneurial streak, and was a junior member in a volunteer fire company. Jamir Williams failed to finish eighth grade, never learned to read, was found to have ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder, and, according to his family, was profoundly affected by his brother's unsolved killing. Prosecutors say the paths of the two Chester men intersected at 3:30 a.m. July 24, 2010, in the doorway of J&S Seafood on Kerlin Street. Words were allegedly exchanged and five shots fired.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Montgomery County Court jury on Friday heard emotional testimony from relatives of a King of Prussia grandmother and infant who were murdered in 2012. But the 28-year-old man convicted in the killings had earlier asked the judge to skip the proceedings. "I don't want this hearing," Ranghunandan Yandamuri quietly told Judge Steven T. O'Neill on Friday morning, before the witnesses took the stand. "I would rather take the death penalty. " Yandamuri, 28, a former information technology worker who immigrated from India on a work visa, did not explain his reasoning, and ultimately it was moot.
NEWS
October 1, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
The only evidence tying Ronald Galati to the attempted murder of his daughter's boyfriend is the testimony of three men, all career criminals, who say Galati hired them to do it. Now it's up to a jury whether to believe them. "The government delivered one gigantic 'say so,' " defense attorney Anthony Voci said on the final day of Galati's murder-for-hire trial Monday. "You've got a say-so case; you've got three crumbs with criminal records who are all looking at life in prison.
NEWS
September 25, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In two years as a patrolman on the streets of North Philadelphia, Officer Edward Mintzer said, he never heard anything like the screams from the little boy who opened the door that night at 3213 Cecil B. Moore Ave. "It was almost unintelligible screaming, animalistic screams," Mintzer told a Common Pleas Court jury Tuesday. Then, Mintzer said, he made out the words: "They got my mom. They got my dad. " Inside the Strawberry Mansion rowhouse, just before 3:30 a.m. on March 5, 2012, the cause of the boy's screaming was clear.
NEWS
August 21, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two years ago, a veteran police narcotics officer was labeled a liar by a Philadelphia judge who tossed evidence seized from an alleged drug dealer, destroying the prosecution's case. The Philadelphia Police Department has removed Christopher Hulmes from street duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation; the city has paid $150,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit against him, and another is pending in federal court. But Hulmes told another Philadelphia judge on Tuesday that he was telling the truth about the June 14 arrest of alleged Kensington drug buyer Richard Hill.
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