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Witness Intimidation

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NEWS
March 2, 2010 | By George Anastasia INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A key associate of convicted drug kingpin Kaboni Savage pleaded guilty yesterday to a witness-intimidation charge, admitting that he and Savage plotted from prison to threaten witnesses and their families in an attempt to keep them from testifying. Dawud Bey, 41, who is already serving a 10-year sentence for dealing drugs, faces an additional 20 years in prison after entering the plea in U.S. District Court. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 27. Bey and Savage, according to court documents, targeted four key witnesses and their families between December 2003 and January 2005.
NEWS
August 16, 2012 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer
A MAN and a woman who allegedly harassed and assaulted a person who reportedly witnessed a 2010 murder in Southwest Philadelphia were ordered Wednesday to stand trial, after waiving their rights to preliminary hearings. Municipal Judge David Shuter set formal arraignment on Sept. 5 for William P. Cook, 25, and Toteyanin Jones, 24. Both were arrested in February for allegedly trying to intimidate a witness to the September 2010 slaying of Tawayne Foster, 21, who was cut down in a gunfight between groups of men on Chester Avenue near 55th Street.
NEWS
June 3, 2010 | By Nancy Phillips and Craig McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
People who intimidate crime victims and witnesses should pay to help solve the problems they create, City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said Wednesday. He proposed to fine people convicted of witness intimidation up to $2,000 and channel the money into a fund to help relocate witnesses who are facing threats. The money would supplement Philadelphia's state-funded witness relocation program, which law enforcement officials said was significantly underfunded. "Witnesses are to justice what gasoline is to automobiles," Jones said in an interview Wednesday.
NEWS
June 3, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel, Staff Writer
Claire Risoldi, the Bucks County matriarch accused of multimillion-dollar insurance fraud, was jailed Wednesday after being arrested again on witness-intimidation charges. State prosecutors contend Risoldi used a subpoena, issued by her lawyer, to influence witnesses who testified in a grand jury investigation that led to Risoldi's arrest on fraud charges in January 2015. "Our system of justice depends on witnesses being free to testify without fear of intimidation or retaliation," Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said in a statement.
NEWS
April 28, 2013 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com, 215-854-5987
NOTING THAT 13 people were killed in Philadelphia between 1999 and 2009 due to witness intimidation, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey yesterday announced plans to introduce a bill to make such intimidation a federal crime. "Witness intimidation is a cowardly crime that has a chilling effect on the work of our region's law enforcement," Casey said at a news conference at 30th Street Station. "This legislation will give law enforcement and prosecutors additional tools to combat witness intimidation.
NEWS
December 16, 2011 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two Kensington men were sentenced to long prison terms Friday by a Philadelphia judge after being found guilty of witness intimidation done at the request of a neighborhood drug dealer. Leomar Arce, 28, was sentenced to six to 20 years in prison, and Nathaniel McGrath, 20, to a four- to 12-year-term by Common Pleas Court Judge Susan I. Schulman, according to Assistant District Attorney Andrew Notaristefano. Both were convicted by a jury on Oct. 6 involving a scheme by Kensington drug dealer Joseph McGrath - Nathaniel McGrath's uncle - to persuade a man he stomped and seriously injured over a $50 drug debt not to testify.
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NEWS
June 11, 2016 | By Grace Toohey, Staff Writer
A judge ruled Thursday that Claire Risoldi, the Bucks County matriarch already accused of multimillion-dollar insurance fraud, should be held for trial on witness-intimidation charges. "There's enough evidence to go to a jury," District Judge Gary Gambardella said after the six-hour preliminary hearing in Doylestown, and after rejecting a defense request that he recuse himself. State prosecutors allege that Risoldi used a subpoena, issued by her attorney, Jack McMahon, to influence witnesses who testified in the grand jury investigation that led to Risoldi's arrest on fraud charges in January 2015.
NEWS
June 3, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel, Staff Writer
Claire Risoldi, the Bucks County matriarch accused of multimillion-dollar insurance fraud, was jailed Wednesday after being arrested again on witness-intimidation charges. State prosecutors contend Risoldi used a subpoena, issued by her lawyer, to influence witnesses who testified in a grand jury investigation that led to Risoldi's arrest on fraud charges in January 2015. "Our system of justice depends on witnesses being free to testify without fear of intimidation or retaliation," Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said in a statement.
SPORTS
May 3, 2016 | By Les Bowen, STAFF WRITER
FOR 15 DAYS in July 2014, Wendell Smallwood's football career was very much in doubt. Smallwood was arrested at West Virginia University, where he was training for his sophomore season at running back, and was extradited back home to Wilmington, Del. He was charged with trying to get a witness in a murder case to recant her statement implicating Smallwood's friend, a man named Zakee Lloyd, who was accused of killing 51-year-old Manuel Oliveras in...
NEWS
March 9, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel, Staff Writer
A Chester County man out on bail in a child sex-abuse case was arrested Monday after allegedly firing six shots into the home of the child whom police have identified as the victim. Douglas Kohen, 63, was charged with attempted murder, witness intimidation, and related offenses, Chester County District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan said. Kohen is accused of firing six times into the East Caln Township home early Sunday, while the 7-year-old child, a 9-year-old sibling, and their father were inside, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
NEWS
January 29, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel, Staff Writer
A drug suspect wanted for witness intimidation turned himself in to Chester County authorities Tuesday after three months on the lam. Kenneth Wylie, 25, of Coatesville is charged with felony-level intimidation and conspiracy, said the Chester County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday. In October, Wylie and his girlfriend were accused of intimidating a prosecution witness in Wylie's drug case. His girlfriend, at the time an employee of the Chester County Juvenile Probation Department, was arrested Oct. 30. Charges were refiled against Wylie on Nov. 6, and he had been a fugitive since then.
NEWS
August 12, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A MAN WHO PROVIDED $500 to be given to a witness so the witness would not testify in a court hearing was sentenced yesterday to time served to 23 months in jail. Charles Alexander, 37, who had already served about seven months in jail, was immediately paroled by Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott. The judge said she found no evidence that Alexander had any idea the witness was later going to be shot by another man. "I am convinced you did not know there was going to be any violence," she told Alexander.
NEWS
June 26, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A JUDGE yesterday dismissed witness-intimidation charges against a man accused of slashing the tires of a poll watcher who had complained to officials about alleged election fraud committed by the man's family members. "I just cannot see in that video that that's what occurred," Municipal Judge Roger Gordon said of allegations that defendant Brandon Way, 31, punctured the poll watcher's tires. Gordon dismissed charges of witness retaliation, intimidation, possession of an instrument of crime - in this case, a drywall saw - and related charges at Way's preliminary hearing.
NEWS
June 17, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two North Philadelphia men were convicted Monday of attempted murder and conspiracy in the shooting of a neighborhood preacher who refused a $500 bribe to not testify against one of them. The Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men deliberated about three hours before returning guilty verdicts against Aki Jones, 39, and Shaheed Wilson, 23, for shooting Michael Vessels. Vessels, 46, of the same North Philadelphia neighborhood as Jones and Wilson, was shot five times and left for dead on Sept.
NEWS
May 8, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Prosecutors on Wednesday arrested and charged a former Philadelphia police officer with witness intimidation in the alleged use of his position to obtain information about and threaten his former sister-in-law. Jeremias Olivo was in custody Wednesday afternoon as District Attorney Seth Williams announced the onetime officer's arrest for allegedly intimidating his brother Samuel's former wife while the man and woman were embroiled in a domestic conflict. Even as she changed her address, prosecutors alleged, Jeremias Olivo made efforts to track the woman, who alleged she was a victim of domestic abuse.
NEWS
August 25, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Andrew Tuono's new girlfriend came with a warning. Dating Tiffany Galati, daughter of an auto mechanic with long-held ties to the Philadelphia mob, would one day get him killed, friends advised. That prediction nearly proved prescient last year, with an attack that left Tuono alive, but with three bullets in his gut - and his girlfriend's father accused of ordering the hit. Now, the details of that attempt on Tuono's life, sketched in government court filings this month, offer the latest account of one facet of Ronald Galati's deepening legal morass.
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