Ernest Owens, the LGBTQ editor at Philadelphia magazine, had no idea that a social media comment about racial tensions in Philadelphia's gayborhood would get him a call from the city Police Department's counterterrorism unit.
A single holdout juror prevented the acquittal this month of a West Philadelphia man who represented himself in a retrial after serving 12 years for a murder he says he didn't commit, according to two of the panel members.
The verdict against Ronald "Hollow Man" Thomas came just hours after the jury got the case. Common Pleas Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd then sentenced Thomas, 33, to mandatory term of life without parole, the same outcome in his first trial in 2013.
In Philadelphia, where 307 homicides were reported last year, arrests were made in just 55 percent of slayings from 2007 through 2016, and more homicides went unsolved in the city and nationwide during the decade when the victim was black, a new study has found.
Staff writer Mensah M. Dean joined the enterprise team in January 2016. Since 1997, he has worked for the Daily News, covering a number of beats including, education, welfare reform, criminal courts and City Hall. He began his career at the Washington Times, where he won a handful of regional journalism awards.