Murder charges pending in Piazza slayings

 Inquirer staffer Troy Graham reports:

The attorney for a man police have accused of planning a drug robbery that left two people dead at a posh Northern Liberties apartment complex said today that detectives are preparing to file murder charges against his client.

Will “Pooh” Hook surrendered yesterday at Police Headquarters to face burglary and other charges.

Those charges stemmed from what police described as an earlier, failed attempt to rob Rian Thal, a popular party planner gunned down outsider her apartment at the Piazza at Schmidt’s on June 27.

Later that day, three gunmen confronted Thal and her friend, Timothy Gilmore, in the hallway outside her seventh floor apartment in the complex’s Navona building.

The plan, police said, was to push them inside and rob them of drugs and cash. Instead, Gilmore ran and both were gunned down.

Police said Hook, who also went by the names James Wilson and Keith Epps, masterminded that robbery, but he had not been charged in the deaths of Thal, 34, and Gilmore, 40.

Thal had four kilograms of cocaine and more than $100,000 in cash inside her apartment when she was killed
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