Archive: February, 2013
Every criminal trial has stories within stories and many never make it into print in the daily paper.
So it was on Feb. 14 when Philadelphia Police Officer Jacqueline Speaks was called to testify at the Philadelphia trial of India Spellman, the Cedarbrook high school student charged in the Aug. 18, 2010 robbery-murder of George “Bud” Greaves, an 87-year-old World War II veteran.
The testimony was routine. Speaks’ police work was anything but.
A former Philadelphia City Council sergeant-at-arms – arrested last Sept. 8 for driving a city-owned vehicle while intoxicated – was found guilty Monday by a Municipal Court judge of two counts of driving under the influence.
Rodney Williams, 42, who worked for Council since 2004, did not testify and defense attorney Robin Colley Pitt called no other witnesses during the hour-long trial before Judge Gerard A. Kosinski. Kosinski set sentencing for April 1.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kotchian presented two police witnesses who testified about Williams’ condition when he was stopped between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on Sept. 8 at 13th and Hamilton Streets in lower North Philadelphia. Two hours after Williams’ arrest, said Kotchian, a breath-alcohol test showed that his blood-alcohol level was .16 – twice the legal threshold for driving intoxicated.
Court reporters inevitably spend a lot of time waiting to see what a jury does.
And when the jury doesn’t, or sends out messages that imply something has gone awry, the handicapping begins. What does it mean? Or, it has to mean this. Or that. The more cynical talk of starting a pool on the eventual verdict.
Consider last week’s verdict in the child sex-abuse trial of the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former parochial school teacher Bernard Shero.