Philadelphia Criminal Law News

February 2011 Archives

Jason Peters' Home Robbed In South Philadelphia

Authorities reported offensive lineman Jason Peters from the Philadelphia Eagles found that his house had been burglarized since he left in mid-January. The football star found that his condominium, which is located close to the Eagles' training grounds and Lincoln Financial Field, had been broken into when he returned home earlier this week.

The unknown thief or thieves who robbed Peters allegedly have stolen almost $60,000 worth of property, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. He told police that he was missing a number of expensive and personal items, including diamond jewelry, designer watches, and camera equipment.

Police Arrest Tyrese Ford For Fatal Shooting At Frankford Bar

Police recently announced that 19-year-old Tyrese Ford was arrested and charged with fatally shooting 20-year-old Chris Spence over the weekend at Frankford's T&T Lounge, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The update on Ford's arrest brought relief to Spence's mother, Javese Phelps-Washington, who had feared that her son's killer would remain loose on the streets.

"People are afraid to come forward, but when you love somebody, you do what's right," said Phelps-Washington. "And people loved Chris."

Caira Ferguson Arrested After Duct-taping Her Daughter

Delaware County police arrested Caira Ferguson, 21, after she wrapped her two-year-old daughter with duct tape from her mouth to her ankles. She eventually confessed to also taping the child to a small chair last summer and was charged with child endangerment, false imprisonment and unlawful restraint, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

While Ferguson may have found the incident humorous after having posed in a photo with her daughter, Magisterial District Judge C. Walter McCray was not entertained and reprimanded Ferguson for her actions. “That’s a rotten thing to do to your child,” said McCray during her arraignment. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff, but just that picture … you can’t do that.”

Philadelphia Jury Finds Gerald Ung Not Guilty In Shooting

A Philadelphia jury found Temple University Law School student Gerald Ung not guilty of shooting 24-year-old Edward DiDonato, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. Ung, 29, had been charged with aggravated assault, attempted murder, and possession of an instrument of crime for shooting DiDonato six times in Old City last year.

Ung testified on his own behalf and asserted that he shot DiDonato in self-defense after he was followed, threatened, and attacked by DiDonato and three of his friends in front of the Fox29 studios on Market Street. The defendant also had a permit from Virginia that allowed him to legally have his .38-caliber pistol with him in Pennsylvania.

Police Seek Injector Who May Have Caused Claudia Aderotimi's Death

The death of 20-year-old British tourist Claudia Seye Aderotimi, who died after receiving an illegal buttocks-enhancing injection at an airport hotel in Philadelphia, has led police to search the home of an alleged injector in Lower Merion. The individual was not home at the time of the search when authorities took several pieces of evidence back with them.

"We encourage the individual to come to us and explain some of the things that happened out there," said Southwest Detectives Captain Benjamin Naish, who hopes the supposed injector will voluntarily contact investigators. Naish explained that the individual was merely a "person of interest" and not currently subject to any criminal charges, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Tovoyia Owens Killed After Attack Outside Philadelphia Traffic Court

A 21-year-old pregnant woman was killed this week after two men attacked her and her boyfriend in front of the Philadelphia Traffic Court building. The victim, Tovoyia Owens, was immediately knocked unconscious after the “physical altercation” with the two assailants became more aggressive, reported the Philadelphia Daily News.

Owens, who was nearly 4 months pregnant, was later pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital. A medical examiner has ruled her death as a homicide after suffering blunt impact trauma to the neck. As for her boyfriend, police said he only suffered minor injuries.

Nadin Khoury Speaks Out After Attack By Bullies In Upper Darby

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Upper Darby eighth grader Nadin Khoury, 13, gained much national attention after a group of seven boys brutally beat him in January, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. One of the boys even used a cell phone to record the attack.

The video showed the bullies dragging Khoury through the snow, pushing him into a tree, and then hanging him by his coat on an iron fence that was seven-feet high. The attack lasted for almost 20 minutes until a woman who saw the incident pulled up in her car, chased off the bullies, and took the victim home to his mother.

Kermit Gosnell Claims He Can't Afford A Lawyer

West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, his wife Pearl, and eight of their employees from Gosnell’s clinic are facing criminal charges for the deaths of one patient and seven new-born infants. Authorities have also accused Gosnell, 69, of providing illegal late-term abortions to underprivileged women.

Gosnell and his wife, who are currently without an attorney, tried to explain to Common Pleas Court Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes why they could not afford to pay for a PA criminal defense lawyer. The couple claimed they were “close to destitute,” even though public records revealed they owned a boat and 17 properties in four states.

Philadelphia suburban local Colleen LaRose, 47, pleaded guilty to allegations involving her role in a terrorist plot to murder a Swedish artist, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. U.S. counterterrorism officials said LaRose's case represents a new threat where an American-born woman has gradually become a part of an Islamic terror conspiracy.

While her guilty plea did not suggest that she would cooperate against her supposed conspirators, LaRose did admit to engaging in a conspiracy to supply material aid (like passports) to terrorists and lying to FBI agents about her terrorist schemes. Prosecuting attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said LaRose "worked obsessively" in communicating, recruiting, and rousing other jihadists.