Philadelphia, November 8, 2010: Today, a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the murder trial of 35-year old Rasheed Scruggs. The Honorable Renee Hughes then sentenced Scrugs to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Scrugs pleaded guilty to First Degree Murder charges on October 21, 2010 for the fatal shooting of Philadelphia Police Officer John Pawlowski. The jury has since heard evidence to allow them to determine the penalty for the murder.
Officer Pawlowski, who was 25 years old at the time, was gunned down at the intersection of Broad and Olney on February 13, 2009. Officer Pawlowski along with his partner Officer Mark Klein responded to the scene shortly before 8:30pm when a cabbie informed them that Rasheed Scrugs had tried to rough him up. During the confrontation Scrugs had told the cabbie if he called the police he would shoot the cabbie along with the police. Scrugs was about 15 feet away with his hands in pockets when the cabbie identified him. Both officers then asked Scrugs to remove his hands from his coat; instead Scrugs started firing, hitting Officer Pawlowski three times. Officer Pawlowski later died at Einstein Medical Center leaving behind his wife Kim and their unborn son John, who is now one and a half years old.
“I am extremely proud of Deputy District Attorney Edward McCann and ADA Jacqueline Coelho,” says District Attorney Seth Williams. “They worked extremely hard on this emotionally difficult case and they both did an excellent job. Along with trying this case Edward McCann is in charge of our Trial Division at the DA’s Office where he oversees over 170 people. His hard work and personal dedication to this case demonstrates that he leads by example. I am disappointed that the jury was not able to reach a unanimous decision; and while the defendant avoided a sentence of death, he will be held accountable for his terrible crimes by spending the remainder of his life in prison. During that time my hope is that he will experience some true remorse for the inexplicable crime he committed. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Officer Pawlowski, and we hope this will offer them some sense of justice and help them with the difficult process of closure.”