September 16, 2016 |
Judgment Day came early for Philly Jesus, and the results were mixed: He was found guilty on Wednesday in Philadelphia Municipal Court of defiant trespass, but not guilty of disorderly conduct. The charges against Michael Grant, 29, a recovering heroin addict who walks the streets of Philadelphia dressed as Jesus , stemmed from his refusal to leave the Apple store at 1607 Walnut St. in Center City in May. Grant owns an iPhone and jokes that he's on the "family plan" with God and the Holy Ghost.
August 26, 2016
COUNCILMANIC prerogative? Wendy Beetlestone is not a huge fan. Beetlestone - the federal judge who presided over the civil trial of archenemies Ori Feibush (the evil developer!) vs. Kenyatta Johnson (the evil councilman!) - has denied the city's request to overturn the jury's May verdict. The jury, you may recall, awarded $34,000 to Feibush, who complained that Johnson had blocked his purchase of two Point Breeze properties as political payback. Beetlestone's opinion, published Thursday, spells out how Philadelphia's unwritten (and ripe for abuse)
July 21, 2016 |
A Montgomery County jury on Tuesday convicted a Philadelphia man in the murder of his ex-girlfriend's father, but acquitted a friend who also was on trial for the September home-invasion. Naadir Abdul-Ali, 21, will serve a mandatory life sentence for his conviction of second-degree murder in the killing of Kevin Brown, of Lower Moreland Township. Co-defendant Desmond Smith, 21, also of Philadelphia, walked smiling from the courtroom after he was acquitted of all charges. During the 11-day trial Smith's attorney presented an alibi defense and video footage from SEPTA's Market-Frankford line, suggesting that Smith was riding the train at the time of the murder.
July 3, 2016 |
A Philadelphia jury found Friday that the antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a Tennessee boy to grow breasts and imposed a $70 million verdict on its manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Lawyers for the boy argued that scientists for the company were well aware of the risks and sought to downplay them. The company disputed that allegation during the Common Pleas Court trial and said that physicians were fully informed of potential side effects. It was the fifth Risperdal lawsuit tried in Philadelphia, and by far the largest verdict so far. Earlier verdicts ranged from $500,000 to $2.2 million.
July 2, 2016 |
A Chester County lawyer accused of withholding medical care from his 92-year-old father and causing his death was found guilty Thursday of third-degree murder. After deliberating for more than 10 hours, a jury found Edward J. O'Brien III, 61, guilty of all charges - including aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless endangerment - in the 2013 death of Edward J. O'Brien Jr. This was the second trial for the West Whiteland Township man. A jury deadlocked on all charges in February.
June 30, 2016 |
A federal jury Tuesday convicted a Levittown doctor accused of running a multimillion-dollar pill mill with help from the Pagans Motorcycle Club of drug, money-laundering, bankruptcy-fraud, and other charges. During 23 days of testimony, the government questioned strippers, former patients, investigators, and Pagans members, all of whom said that William J. O'Brien was a drug dealer who illegally prescribed painkillers. O'Brien contended that nearly everyone was lying. He called out U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Special Agent Joshua Gill multiple times for not knowing that opioids could be used for headaches.
June 25, 2016
ISSUE | POLITICAL CORRUPTION Cronies backed Fattah even after verdict Almost as unsurprising as the conviction of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) on all 22 counts of fraud, money-laundering, and bribery was the reaction of the political clerisy ("Reaction: Heavy hearts, calls to quit," Wednesday). Not one of Fattah's Democratic colleagues called for his resignation; that reasonable response to the jury's verdict was left to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a group that, as confirmed by the Inquirer's "Philadelphia Political Hall of Shame," should never be confused with the capos who run Philadelphia's Democratic Party.
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...