June 16, 2016
Jurors in U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's federal corruption ended their first full day of deliberations on Thursday without reaching a verdict. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III dismissed the panel of four men and eight women around 4 p.m., about an hour earlier than he usually ends the court day. Jurors are set to return Friday to continue their discussions. Fattah, 59, stands accused of accepting bribes and stealing charitable donations, campaign contributions, and federal grant funds under his control to pay off his personal and political debts.
June 12, 2016 |
A jury on Friday convicted a Sudanese refugee of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a coworker at a Montgomery County meatpacking plant. The jury also found Peter Jok Atem, 34, of Lansdale, guilty of possession of an instrument of crime in the slaying of Danny Vasquez, 25, of Philadelphia, with a 41/2-inch butterfly knife on a frigid day in February 2015. "We're all very grateful," said Jason Vasquez, the victim's brother. Of his brother, who had 3-, 7-, and 10-year-old children, he said that "all he wanted to do was work and provide for his family.
May 13, 2016 |
The long-standing custom of giving Philadelphia City Council members complete control over land use in their districts, known as councilmanic prerogative, took a beating in federal court Wednesday when a jury said it was used by a Council member to punish a political foe. Developer Ori Feibush had accused Councilman Kenyatta Johnson of blocking his attempts to buy two city-owned lots after he announced plans to run against Johnson in the 2015 Democratic...
May 4, 2016 |
Twenty-seven years after the bodies of Ruby Ellis and Cheryl Hanible were found strangled and in squalor, a Philadelphia jury on Monday said Rudolph Churchill was the man who killed them. Churchill, 54, of Paulsboro, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two weapons counts involving the twine and shoelace used to strangle the women. But the jury acquitted the Gloucester County man of two counts of rape and two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, an apparent acknowledgment that none of Churchill's DNA was found on or in the bodies of Ellis and Hanible.
April 29, 2016 |
A federal jury on Wednesday found two leaders of the defunct Nova Financial Holding Inc. guilty of a scheme to defraud the U.S. Treasury Department's bank bailout program in 2009. Prosecutors charged that Barry R. Bekkedam, the bank's founding chairman, and Brian M. Hartline, its chief executive, orchestrated a series of fraudulent loans to customers who would then invest the money back into Nova in a bid to qualify for $13.5 million in federal bank bailout funds. The scheme fell apart after the treasury department rescinded its offer of bailout money for unrelated reasons.
April 20, 2016 |
After deliberating late into the night Monday, a Montgomery Common Pleas Court jury returned a mixed verdict in the trial of an Uber driver charged with raping a woman who had hired him last year to take her from Center City to Montgomery County. The jury announced shortly before 11 p.m., 61/2 hours after it had begun its work, that it had found Abdellah Elkaddi, 47, not guilty of raping the 24-year-old woman, and not guilty of aggravated indecent assault while a victim is unaware of what is happening.
April 9, 2016 |
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. on Thursday asked a federal magistrate to set aside a Scranton jury verdict last month that awarded two Dimock, Pa., families $4.24 million for their claims that Cabot's shale-gas operations contaminated their drinking water. The gas driller alleged that misconduct by the families' attorney, Leslie Lewis, tainted the jury, and that the testimony of two neighbors who had earlier signed settlements and non-disclosure agreements with Cabot should not have been permitted.
March 30, 2016 |
A Philadelphia jury returned a split verdict Monday in the trial of a former SEPTA police officer accused of roughing up and falsely arresting a nurse after a Christmas 2013 argument in a Suburban Station doughnut shop. The Common Pleas Court jury of six men and six women deliberated about two hours before finding Douglas Ioven guilty of misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and official oppression involving the arrest of Muibat Williamson. The jury acquitted Ioven, 44, of simple assault and obstruction of administration of law. The assault count involved Williamson's allegation that Ioven stepped on her foot after cutting in line at a Dunkin' Donuts shop in the concourse and later banged her head into an ATM trying to apprehend her. The obstruction charge involved arresting Williamson to prevent her from filing a complaint against him with SEPTA superiors.
February 13, 2016 |
A woman who said she was severely injured by surgically implanted vaginal mesh was awarded $13.5 million by a Court of Common pleas jury on Wednesday, the second large verdict against medical device manufacturer Ethicon, Inc. in Philadelphia. Sharon Carlino, 58, of Toms River, N.J. sued Ethicon following surgery in 2005 to implant vaginal mesh to treat urinary incontinence. She said she suffered sharp pains as a consequence of the procedure and underwent two attempts at corrective surgery without success.
December 20, 2015 |
A PHILADELPHIA JURY yesterday convicted Kathryn Knott of four misdemeanor counts, but acquitted her of felony charges of aggravated assault in an attack on a gay couple in Center City last year. Knott, 25, bit her lips when the jury forewoman announced the guilty verdicts against her for one count each of simple assault and conspiracy to commit simple assault and two counts of reckless endangerment. Afterward, Knott sat at the defense table and wiped away tears with a tissue before getting up. She and her parents tearfully embraced in the courtroom gallery.