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Voluntary Manslaughter

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NEWS
January 29, 1993 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
The neighborhood was upset that there was a crack house on the block, but that was no reason for one neighbor to start shooting, killing one man, when the place caught fire last Aug. 14, the prosecution argued. Curtis L. Hester, 33, was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter yesterday by Common Pleas Judge Lisa A. Richette in the killing of Dexter Stewart, 23, who had fled the fire. The prosecution had sought a murder conviction. Hester claimed he fired into the air to frighten the men he saw outside his house on Upland Way near 54th Street, at about 4 a.m., but Stewart was hit squarely in the back.
NEWS
November 27, 2007 | By CHRISTINE OLLEY olleyc@phillynews.com 215-854-5184 Daily News staff writer Regina Medina contributed to this report
Four simple words from former University of Pennsylvania economics professor Rafael Robb yesterday in a Montgomery County court described why he blud- geoned his wife to death last year. "I just lost it," Robb said. Ellen Robb, 49, was wrapping Christmas gifts Dec. 22, 2006, when she was beaten to death in her home on Forest Road in Wayne. Before pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter on the day his trial for murder was set to begin, Robb told a packed courtroom and Common Pleas Court Judge Paul W. Tressler that on Dec. 22, he got into an argument with his wife over a trip she planned to take with their preteen daughter, Olivia.
NEWS
March 23, 1998 | By Laura Barnhardt, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Nancy Jane Montalbano, the mother of two, walked into court as the accused murderer of one. But the weeping Perkiomenville woman, 46, pleaded guilty only to voluntary manslaughter Friday in the death of her 3-year-old adopted daughter in October. A charge of third-degree murder was dropped. Montgomery County Judge S. Gerald Corso is to decide this Friday whether to accept her plea of guilty but mentally ill. "Under the circumstances, voluntary manslaughter seemed most appropriate," said Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Maloney.
NEWS
November 27, 2007 | By Kathleen Brady Shea and Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
University of Pennsylvania professor Rafael Robb pleaded guilty yesterday to the bludgeoning death of his wife, Ellen, saying that he was sorry but had "just lost it" as they argued in their Upper Merion home on Dec. 22. In a Montgomery County courtroom strained with tension, Robb, 57, acknowledged for the first time that an argument over Christmas vacation plans disintegrated to the point where he grabbed an exercise bar and "started flailing" at...
NEWS
August 29, 2009 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A North Philadelphia man charged with killing a man watching a basketball game last year on Martin Luther King Day - in a recreation center named for the civil-rights leader - was found guilty yesterday of voluntary manslaughter. The jury had reviewed the evidence for a total of nine hours since Thursday before returning a guilty verdict against Bilal N. Gay, 18, in the Jan. 18, 2008, shooting death of Charles "Frog" Trotman, 17, during a time-out at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center at 2101 Cecil B. Moore Ave. In finding Gay guilty of voluntary manslaughter, the jury rejected the prosecutor's request for the more serious first- or third-degree murder.
NEWS
June 22, 1993 | By Gail Gibson, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A year ago in Pottstown, moments after the Chicago Bulls won their second NBA championship, John L. Branson turned off his television, went into his bedroom and argued with his wife. The fight, on July 14, 1992, ended with Rosalyn P. Branson dead at the foot of their bed, stabbed 14 times. John Branson, 40, who suffered one stab wound of his own that night, claimed he had acted in self-defense. He said that he was fending off his wife's second personality, Wanda, and fighting against his own flashbacks to the Vietnam War. Yesterday, Montgomery County Court Judge Joseph A. Smyth, who heard Branson's case without a jury, rejected the self-defense argument, convicting him of voluntary manslaughter.
NEWS
November 19, 2008 | By Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A former University of Pennsylvania economics professor who admitted fatally bludgeoning his wife in December 2006 is scheduled to be sentenced today in Montgomery County Court. Rafael Robb, 58, of Upper Merion, pleaded guilty a year ago to voluntary manslaughter after facing first- and third-degree murder charges. At his plea hearing, Robb told Judge Paul W. Tressler that he "just lost it" on Dec. 22, 2006, during an argument about holiday vacation plans with his wife, Ellen, who had been wrapping Christmas gifts.
NEWS
July 13, 2010 | By WILLIAM BENDER, benderw@phillynews.com 215-854-5255
A Philadelphia pastor charged with shooting his son to death on Christmas Day in Delaware County received a light sentence yesterday after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Kirk Caldwell, 44, a plumber and pastor at End Times Harvest Mission, in West Oak Lane, was initially charged with first-degree murder and related offenses for killing his eldest son, Jordan, 21, who had brandished a knife and assaulted other family members at their home in Darby Borough. The District Attorney's Office dropped the most serious murder charge at Caldwell's preliminary hearing.
NEWS
July 14, 1995 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
William Austin was upset. His nephew, Cleveland Walker, 55, had been hacked to death last Oct. 11 and in his mind, the killer got off lightly. "I hope they fry you," Austin railed at Brian Thompson in Common Pleas Judge Lisa A. Richette's courtroom yesterday, knowing that you don't fry with a voluntary manslaughter conviction. "This was a slaughter," Austin cried. He told Richette he couldn't understand how she could have convicted Thompson, 33, of only voluntary manslaughter.
NEWS
March 13, 1993 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham has ordered her office to prepare a new warrant for the arrest of former police Sgt. Anthony Brasten on voluntary manslaughter charges, and expects to ask him to surrender next week. On Thursday, a Municipal Court judge said Brasten was doing "what he is under oath to do" when he fired into a dark porch during a confrontation in West Philadelphia that left 54-year-old Charles Matthews dead. Judge William A. King Jr. dismissed voluntary manslaughter charges filed against Brasten by the DA's office on the recommendation of a grand jury.
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NEWS
February 27, 2015 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rachel Pedroso did not make eye contact with her father Wednesday when she stepped into Courtroom 1007. There is no accepted method to greet a man invisible for 23 years, especially one soon to be convicted of first-degree murder. She cried on the witness stand. She fidgeted with her purse. And she said she could not remember details from the night of June 21, 1992, when Santiago Pedroso shot Delores Alvarez - the woman he was convinced had taken up with his ex-wife - in front of his then-17-year-old daughter in a crowded Germantown restaurant.
NEWS
January 21, 2015 | By Justine McDaniel, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Chester County man has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for shooting his stepfather in a June 2013 argument. After a weeklong trial in West Chester, the jury also convicted Deviane Scott, 21, of Caln, of aggravated assault, simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime in the death of 36-year-old Joseph Durham. Jurors deliberated for about five hours Friday night before returning the verdict after 10 p.m.In reaching its decision, the jury rejected the prosecution's recommendation of a first-degree murder conviction and the defense's request for an acquittal.
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
The woman who fatally stabbed former University of Pennsylvania basketball star Matt White - his wife of 25 years - was found guilty but mentally ill Tuesday of voluntary manslaughter. Delaware County Court Judge Kevin Kelly, who presided at the nonjury trial, scheduled a February sentencing for Maria Garcia-Pellon, 54. "It's an appropriate verdict," said Thomas Bergstrom, attorney for Garcia-Pellon, who also was found guilty but mentally ill on a weapons count. Early on Feb. 11, 2013, Garcia-Pellon killed her husband as he lay sleeping in their Nether Providence Township home.
NEWS
October 30, 2014 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Northeast Philadelphia man has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of a man he encountered in his daughter's bedroom in September, police said Tuesday. Charles Jordan, 41, told police he shot Marc Carrion, 32, once in the head, believing Carrion had broken into his 20-year-old daughter's bedroom inside the Holme Circle Apartments on Sept. 15. Jordan told police the man lunged at him. His daughter, Brenda, later told investigators that Carrion was an acquaintance she had let into the apartment.
NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IN A FIT OF RAGE, Corley Chapman savagely beat a man he found in the arms of his girlfriend last spring, police said. Now, that crime of passion has ended one life and ruined another. Chapman, 28, was charged yesterday with third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter after the man he allegedly attacked, Robert Powell, died Friday from injuries he received at Chapman's hands, according to court documents. That attack took place May 7, 2013, when Chapman walked into his home on Tasker Street near Capitol in Point Breeze to find his girlfriend in the midst of a naked tryst with Powell on the living-room floor, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
NEWS
May 18, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
After it was over, as two families mingled uneasily in the courthouse hallway, Kenneth Jones walked to Ronald Benton and offered condolences. Benton, tall and angular, rose from a bench and responded in kind, and they shook hands. It was the one positive moment Friday, when Rahmik Beckett - Benton's nephew and the killer of Jones' brother - went to prison for 20 to 40 years. In February, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury found Beckett guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the 2011 shooting of Kevin Jones, 24, who Beckett said he believed killed his close friend and was gunning for him. In addition to killing Jones in a chaotic nighttime shootout at 32d and Tasker Streets in South Philadelphia, Beckett was found guilty of firing at two police officers, who came upon a crowd of frightened, fleeing people as they searched for a suspect in an unrelated shooting in nearby Grays Ferry.
NEWS
November 28, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Two former Philadelphia police officers were found guilty of reckless endangerment Tuesday in the fatal shooting of a West Oak Lane man during a dispute over a stolen pizza. The Common Pleas Court jury of eight women and four men had deliberated for about 16 hours since Friday before finding former Sgt. Chauncey Ellison and ex-Officer Robin Fortune guilty of the misdemeanor endangerment count in the 2008 death of 20-year-old Lawrence Allen. But the jurors said they were deadlocked on the most serious charge - voluntary manslaughter - against Ellison for shooting Allen as well as a count of conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment against Fortune.
NEWS
November 24, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA A jury returns Monday to resume deliberating in the trial of two former Philadelphia police officers charged in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man in a dispute about a stolen pizza. The Common Pleas Court jury met for about 90 minutes Friday, ending the day by asking to rehear testimony that could be critical to the defense of ex-Sgt. Chauncey Ellison. The transcript could not be made ready until Monday. Ellison, 40, and Robin Fortune, 45, also a former police officer, are charged in the Nov. 17, 2008, shooting that resulted in the death three months later of Lawrence Allen.
NEWS
November 23, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was shoot or be shot, ex-Philadelphia police Sgt. Chauncey Ellison told a Common Pleas Court jury Thursday about the 2008 West Oak Lane shooting that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old man. After being told on the evening of Nov. 17, 2008, by his 14-year-old son that a man had punched him in the mouth and taken his pizza, Ellison and then-girlfriend Robin Fortune set out in search of the robber. They spotted him on the 1900 block of Renovo Street. But the two off-duty officers, dressed in sweats and without identification, found their way blocked by Lawrence Allen.
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