Saturday, April 18, 2015

POSTED: Monday, July 1, 2013, 4:00 PM

Philadelphia’s homicide count at the midyear point of 2013 has been revised to include the death of a 6-month-old girl and remains on a record-setting pace.

The city ended the first six months of 2013 Sunday with 116 homicides, the lowest half-year number since 1968. If the city continues at this pace through December, it would end the year with the lowest annual total in 45 years, The Inquirer wrote in a Sunday story.

The 116th death was added when the medical examiner ruled Amarianna Gutierrez’s death a homicide.

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman @ 4:00 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 2:21 PM

Freddie Henriquez, the 20-year-old Philadelphia man charged with using the Facebook social media site to intimidate a witness working with authorities investigating an illegal gun-buying scheme, pleaded guilty Thursday to witness intimidation.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Robert P. Coleman set sentencing for Aug. 8 and Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wellbrock said he would ask for a sentence of two to four years in prison.

Defense attorney Louis T. Savino was not immediately available for comment.

JOSEPH SLOBODZIAN @ 2:21 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2013, 4:51 PM
This java jerk , David Timbers, of Mantua, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for throwing hot coffee in a clerk's face in May. (Philadelphia Police)

The idea behind pleading guilty to a crime – presumably one you actually committed – is to get a measure of credit at sentencing: you’ve shown the judge you’ve accepted responsibility for your actions.

Trouble is, if you become a fugitive before you are sentenced you've shown the judge you haven't grasped concept.

As David Timbers, 53, is finding out.

JOSEPH SLOBODZIAN @ 4:51 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 11:43 AM

A veteran Philadelphia homicide detective who was fired for padding overtime then reinstated by an arbitrator wants the city and Commissioner Charles Ramsey to pay for what he says was an indelible, unfair and costly blemish to his reputation.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, Detective Kenneth Rossiter says Ramsey violated his right to due process and caved to media pressure when the commissioner fired him last year, and that the aftereffects continue.

“He is back on the force but little of the damage has been undone; thanks to defendant's defamatory statements to the press, Det. Rossiter is believed by some within the department and outside of the department to be an overtime cheat, and by others to be a target of the Ramsey administration, making them either unwilling or afraid to work with him,” says the lawsuit, filed by attorney Maxwell Kennerly.

John P. Martin @ 11:43 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, June 14, 2013, 2:05 PM

The truth is ugly and will not restore Richard DeCoatsworth’s reputation as the “hero cop,” concedes defense attorney L. George Parry.

But it may set him free – or, Parry says, at least give DeCoatsworth the chance to make bail.

DeCoatsworth, 27, has been held in prison on $60-million bail, charged with sexually assaulting and holding captive two women. And though Philadelphia court rules require him to post only 10 percent, for an ex-cop $6 million in cash or property is a distinction without a difference.

JOSEPH SLOBODZIAN @ 2:05 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 3:41 PM

Almost two years ago, Philadelphia’s education community was shocked to hear of the beating death of retired principal Ennis Manns in a West Philadelphia apartment.

On Monday, David Lawrence, the man charged with killing Manns, pleaded guilty before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina in a deal with prosecutors that carries a prison term of 22-1/2 to 45 years.

Lawrence, 41, was scheduled for trial Monday but instead agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime in the July 1, 2011, death of Manns, 58, of Elkins Park.

JOSEPH SLOBODZIAN @ 3:41 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 10:40 AM

Mousie must wait another month for Judgment Day.

For the second time in a month, a federal judge has rescheduled the sentencing hearing for Joseph "Mousie" Massimino, the reputed underboss of the Philadelphia mob. Massimino, 63, was scheduled to be sentenced on racketeering conspiracy charges this Wednesday, but U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno has pushed the hearing back until July 11.

As we reported here last week, Massimino's lawyer believes he deserves less than six years in prison after being convicted in the marathon trial that ended with mixed verdicts earlier this year.  Prosecutors have yet to publicly file their sentencing memo, but are expected to argue for well more than a decade in prison, especially given Massimino's long criminal history. 

John P. Martin @ 10:40 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 4:00 PM

Some may remember last August’s arrest of Jermal Ponds, the Cedarbrook man charged after being stopped carrying a duffel bag containing a disassembled assault rifle, loaded pistol, knife and a prescription narcotic aboard the northbound Broad Street Subway.

At the time, Ponds, 29, maintained that the guns were legally purchased, the Percocet was his and that he was just transporting them from one location to another.

All that turned out to be true. But that didn’t make Ponds any less guilty when he went for a nonjury trial before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Nina M. Wright-Padilla, who today found Ponds guilty of four firearms charges and one count of possession with intent to distribute the Percocet.

JOSEPH SLOBODZIAN @ 4:00 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Inquirer reporter Joe Slobodzian covers the courts and writes about the people who find themselves there and what they face.

You can reach Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or Reach Joseph A. at

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