Archive for July, 2011

Recent Verdicts

July 27, 2011

July 26, 2011: Commonwealth v. Joseph Harville: 22 year old Joseph Harville was found guilty of Murder, Conspiracy, Burglary and other related offense today and sentenced to Life in Prison without the possibility of parole.  Harville shot and killed 25 year old Nicholas Pisano inside the doorway of the victim’s Old City apartment in 2008 during a burglary and attempted robbery.  ADA Richard Sax successfully prosecuted this case.

 July 22, 2011: Commonwealth v. Mia Byrd: 18 year old Mia Byrd was convicted of Robbery and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Robbery charges today for a brutal attack in 2008.  The defendant along with an unnamed conspirator On September 4, 2008, the defendant along with a 17-year-old savagely assaulted a 24-yr-old woman at a bus stop on September 4, 2008, where the defendant repeatedly punched and kicked the victim while trying to steal her purse.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 23, 2011 in courtroom 1001.  ADA Kendra McCrae successfully prosecuted this case.

 July 15, 2011: Commonwealth v. Thomas Lardani:  Thomas Lardani was found guilty of Burglary and Criminal Trespass charges today by a jury of his peers.  On December 11, 2007 the defendant confronted a 41year old man who returned to his home in the middle of the day to find Lardani walking out the front door.  The victim then tried to apprehend Lardani running after his getaway vehicle while on the phone with 911.  This conviction represents a 2nd strike for the defendant who was convicted of 12 separate residential burglaries in 1991 and 1994.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 8, 2011 in courtroom 1001.  ADA Kendra McCrae successfully prosecuted this case.

 June 24, 2011: Commonwealth v. Donald Jeffrey:  Donald Jeffrey was found guilty by a jury of his peers of Aggravated Assault and other related charges for a 2009 attack with an axe.  The defendant viciously attacked a 54 year old man in front of the victim’s house with an axe, striking him multiple times in the head on February 11, 2009.  This event was witnessed by a Good Samaritan and several Philadelphia Police Officers.  The first trial resulted in a mistrial on November 30, 2009 before the Honorable Judge Bright.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 16, 2011 in courtroom 1001.  ADA Kendra McCrae successfully prosecuted this case.

Response from District Attorney Seth Williams on New Archbishop

July 19, 2011

July, 19, 2011: My thoughts and prayers go out to Cardinal Rigali as he makes this transition in his life.  I respect the Cardinal very much and recognize the positive impact he has made in the history of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He came into a very difficult situation and I think he tried to do what he thought was best for the Church. I’m not going to comment on the findings of the Grand Jurors, but I will say that Cardinal Rigali’s response to their report has been constructive. Rather than attacking the messengers, he has listened to their criticisms. I understand that he has initiated changes that should help to protect Philadelphia’s children and better serve victims going forward. I commend him for promptly removing over 20 priests with outstanding allegations of improper relations with minors after the latest Grand Jury investigation was announced, and I applaud his efforts to re-examine those cases thoroughly. I hope that Archbishop Chaput follows through on these initiatives, and I look forward to working with him in the future.

Recent Verdicts and Sentences

July 19, 2011

 July 18, 2011: Commonwealth v. Larry Bryant: 22 year old Larry Bryant was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by the Honorable Shelley Robbins-New for the April 2009 death of a 65year old man. The victim, James Whitefield was asleep when the defendant broke in and attempted to rob Mr. Whitefield’s home.  Bryant then shot Mr. Whitefield in the head and in the back of his neck leading to the victim’s death.  Larry Bryant was found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder, Robbery, Burglary, and Conspiracy today and was immediately sentenced to life in prison. ADA Lorraine Donnelly successfully prosecuted this case.

 July 18, 2011: Commonwealth v. Anthony Garnett:  22 year old Anthony Garnett was found guilty of  2nd Degree Murder, Robbery, Burglary, Conspiracy and other related offenses for the April 2009 attack of a 65-year-old man. The victim, James Whitefield was asleep when the defendant broke in and attempted to rob Mr. Whitefield’s home.  Mr. Whitefield was shot in the head and in the back of his neck leading to his death.  The defendant was found in the victim’s home when police arrived to the scene. Garnett is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9, 2011 in courtroom 607 at the CJC. ADA Lorraine Donnelly successfully prosecuted this case.

July 18, 2011: Commonwealth v. Jori E. Britt : 27 year old Jori E. Britt was found guilty today of  First Degree Murder and other related charges by a jury of his peers for the 2007 murder of  Terrill Gillette. Mr. Gillette was shot 7 times in the back of the head, forehead, face and torso, back and abdomen with a .50 caliber handgun on the 5800 block of Germantown Ave.  The defendant fled the state and was apprehended in 2009 in Watertown, New York after he was profiled on the television show American’s Most Wanted.  Britt will be sentenced on September 15, 2011 in courtroom 707 at the CJC. ADA Leon Goodman successfully prosecuted this case.

July 18, 2011: Commonwealth v. Sharif Copeland: 18 year old Sharif Copeland was found guilty today of Third Degree Murder and other related charges for the 2009 shooting of 17 year old Rashawn Woodson during an apparent neighborhood feud. The victim was shot once in the back and died 15 minutes later at University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Copeland is scheduled to be sentenced on September 30, 2011 in courtroom 1007 at the CJC. ADA Joanne Pescatore successfully prosecuted this case.

Recent Verdict

July 18, 2011

July 15, 2011: Commonwealth v. James Hayward:  23 year old James Hayward was convicted of First Degree Murder, Possessing an Instrument of Crime and Possessing a Firearm without a License charges today by a jury of his peers.  The defendant shot and killed 33 year old Khalil Martinez on December 9, 2009.  Mr. Martinez was shot five times in the back and torso outside of Rumba’s bar and died a short time later at Temple University Hospital.  The Honorable Carolyn Engel Temin is scheduled to sentence Hayward on September 9, 2011 in courtroom 601 at the CJC.  ADA Chesley Lightsey successfully prosecuted this case.

Recent Verdict

July 11, 2011

 July 8, 2011: Commonwealth v. Joseph Harville:  22 year old Joseph Harville was found guilty by a jury of his peers today of Murder, Conspiracy, Burglary and other related charges.  The defendant shot and killed 25 year old Nicholas Pisano inside the doorway of Pisano’s apartment at Front and Callowhill in 2008 during an attempted robbery.  Harville was immediately sentenced to life without the possibility of parole today.  ADA Richard Sax successfully prosecuted this case.

Recent Verdict

July 8, 2011

July 7, 2011: Commonwealth v. William Berrioz:  23 year old William Berrioz  was sentenced to 18 to 36 years in prison by the Honorable Harold M. Kane today for the January attack of  a 65 year old man.  Berrioz pleaded guilty in April to Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery charges for the January 6, 2011 stabbing of 65 year old Ben Davis.  Mr. Davis had taken his wife to get her hair done at the Mellon Independence Center on Market Street when he was assaulted by the defendant.  Mr. Davis was attacked by the defendant in a restroom in the building and stabbed six times; fortunately he survived his injuries including a collapsed lung.  ADA Ben Baer successfully prosecuted this case.


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