November 10, 2014 |
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.
October 24, 2014 |
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.
October 23, 2014 |
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.
October 12, 2014 |
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.
October 1, 2014 |
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.
September 25, 2014 |
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.
August 21, 2014 |
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.
June 10, 2014 |
Criminologists call it mind-boggling but true: A third of people who confess to crimes didn't do it and incriminated themselves without physical coercion by police. Social scientists say years of research have let them identify types of people especially vulnerable to confessing to something they did not do, and that expertise is now being used in criminal trials. But not in Pennsylvania, where a divided state Supreme Court has said no to using expert testimony to help jurors understand the puzzling phenomenon of false confessions.
May 31, 2014 |
The U.S. Attorney's Office has asked the New Jersey legislative committee investigating September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge to postpone its plans to take testimony from the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a committee spokesman confirmed Thursday. Patrick Foye was scheduled to testify before the committee on Tuesday, along with Port Authority Commissioner William "Pat" Schuber. Federal prosecutors are investigating the lane closures, which tied up traffic for four days in September and were allegedly orchestrated by former allies of Gov. Christie.
May 8, 2014 |
A Southwest Philadelphia man was held for trial on murder Tuesday in the beating death last July of his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter. Edward Golphin, 26, was ordered by Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons to stand trial in the July 16 slaying of Seanita Brown. The chief witness against Golphin was Seanita's mother, Josephita Brown, 25, who was charged alone last July in her daughter's death. But on Tuesday, Brown was back in court, testifying for Assistant District Attorney Lorraine Donnelly under an agreement in which Brown pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy and child endangerment in exchange for testifying against her boyfriend of four years.