Philadelphia Criminal Law News

September 2011 Archives

Chester County Cat Mutilation

Richard Simes found two mutilated kittens on his porch. Two more dead kittens were found in the yard. It’s not clear who was behind the Chester County cat mutilation, or why someone would do such a heinous thing.

The Chester County SPCA has already determined that three of the kitten deaths were criminal acts due to mutilation, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. One cat was cut in half, one was bludgeoned, and the third was disemboweled. The cause of death for the fourth cat has not yet been determined, and pending the results of a necropsy, criminal charges may follow its death as well.

Deadly North Phiadelphia ATM Robbery

An unidentified 54-year-old man was shot and killed during a Philadelphia ATM robbery.

The victim was using an ATM machine outside the Diamond Deli at 9th and Diamond Streets when he was approached by a robber carrying a gun, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The victim apparently struggled with the robber before the gunman opened fire and shot the victim multiple times in the back, neck, and chest.

Transgender Sexual Abuse Claim Sheds Light on Jail Problem

A transgender sexual abuse complaint brought in a Philadelphia women's jail sheds light on a problem that all prisons will have to deal with -- where to place transgender inmates? 'Transgender in jail' is a relatively new phenomena that the Philadelphia prison system will have to adapt to.

A corrections officer was accused of sexual assault by Jovanie Saldana, a transgender inmate at Riverside, Philadelphia's female jail. Saldana accused the unidentified male officer of forcing her to perform oral sex on him, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. However, after an investigation, prosecutors decided not to press charges. The reasons for not doing so were not given.

Your Miranda Rights, When Do You Have Them?

Your Miranda rights, you’ve heard them read on television a million times and probably know them by heart, but do you know when you must be given these rights and when you have them?

Just for some background, the Miranda rights were spawned from a 1966 Supreme Court decision involving a defendant named Miranda. From that case, the court came up with a rule that people had to be read certain rights during the arrest process including the rights to remain silent, consult a lawyer, and have an attorney appointed to you. If you are not read these rights when you should be, the things you tell an officer may not be used against you.

Baseball Coach Sexual Assault Arrest

A baseball coach sexual assault arrest was made less than a day after the coach was first arrested on charges of furnishing alcohol to a minor. In two separate charges, involving two different teen boys, Catholic high school baseball coach Louis Spadaccini just saw his legal troubles compounded.

Spadaccini, a high school baseball coach at the Catholic SS. Neumann-Goretti High School in South Philadelphia, was first arrested for giving alcohol to a 14-year-old boy, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The boy was a new student at the school and had attended baseball practice over the weekend with Coach Spadaccini. After practice, the coach made plans to meet with the boy later on in the day ostensibly to watch football.

Arrest Made in Cherry Hill Hit and Run

Elisha Pollosco, 25, has been charged with the hit and run death of 25-year-old Binh Tsan in Cherry Hill. Police put an end to the Cherry Hill hit and run mystery after a tip led them to Pollosco’s home in Berlin.

Police believe Tsan was hit by Pollosco last week while crossing Route 70 near Barclay Farms, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Traffic was reportedly heavy and Tsan and a companion had just finished lunch across the street from the law office where she worked. The two were crossing Route 70 as traffic stalled, when Pollosco tried to illegally pass on the shoulder and struck Tsan.

5 Years for Obama Death Threat, Wants to Kill and Eat President

Career criminal Gregory Brockman was already in a Chester jail serving a three-year sentence for burglary when he made his outrageous President Obama death threat. And when his burglary sentence is up, he'll have another five years in jail for making threats to eat the President.

In January 2010, Brockman wrote letters to the Secret Service detailing his plans to kill and eat the President, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. And these were detailed plans describing how he would cut the meat from the President's bones and bake them in the oven. Brockman even described the actual sitting down at the table and eating of President Obama.

Philadelphia Phillies Fan Murder, did David Sale Ask for It?

The trial for the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies fan murder has finally started. And already the defendants are blaming the victim, David Sale, for his own death.

In July 2009, the Phillies were playing the St. Louis Cardinals and two groups of drunken fans attended the game -- a group bused in from Moe's Tavern, a Fishtown Pub, and a bachelor party, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Trouble started pretty quickly, in the second inning, when some members of the Moe's Tavern group sat in the seats of the bachelor party group and a mini-fracas erupted.

Philadelphia Curfew Extended

The Philadelphia curfew instituted by Mayor Nutter to combat the Philadelphia flash mob has been extended.

In August, the mayor introduced the curfew after a string of flash mob attacks in the city, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The curfew stated that children under the age of 18 had to be off the streets by 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in parts of the city. As part of the curfew, Mayor Nutter also extended the hours for several recreation centers to give kids something to do besides cause trouble in the streets.

Malik Niblack Pleads to Attempted Murder Charges

Malik Niblack, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted murder charges for an attack last summer of Chinese immigrant Jicun Wu, outside the Bo Shing Chinese takeout restaurant in Philadelphia.

About a month before the attack, Niblack, who frequented the Chinese takeout, had an argument with Wu's wife at the takeout over change, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. Apparently, Niblack plotted revenge and waited a month to seek retribution against Wu.

Lenny Dykstra Legal Problems

Some people belong in a different era. Lenny Dykstra may be one of them, as the Lenny Dykstra legal problems continue to mount.

Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies remember Dykstra as the hard-nosed player who seemingly was a throw-back. The man was gritty, tough, and chewed a wad of tobacco the size of a baseball. You could picture the “Dude” in the lawless west with tobacco dribbling down his chin before committing some brazen act of crime — and then riding off in the sunset, never accounting for his actions.

Sentencing Delayed in Danieal Kelly Death Case

Daniel Kelly, Dana Poindexter, and Mickal Kamuvaka will have to wait a couple months to learn what their punishment is for the role they played in the death of 14-year-old Danieal Kelly.

A Philadelphia judge blamed bureaucracy and an incomplete pre-sentence investigation report for his inability to hand down a sentence to the three found guilty of criminal charges in July. The sentencing hearing has been rescheduled to October 20.

Philadelphia Homicides: 3 Killed in 24 Hours

Perhaps the City of Brotherly Love should get a new nickname. Three Philadelphia homicides were reported over a 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday. So far, no one is in custody for any of the crimes, and there is no word on any suspects.

On Wednesday, 34-year-old Yogi Bhavsar was found shot dead at his Variety Store in Delaware County. Police have offered a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the slaying, but so far have no suspects or leads, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Philadelphia Police Rape: Keith Corley Charged in Squad Car Rape

More news about Philadelphia cops behaving badly. Officer Keith Corley has been charged with a squad car rape of an unidentified woman while on duty. The Philadelphia police rape allegation is the third time in the last two weeks that a Philly cop has been accused of abusing women.

Corley has been a member of the police force for four years, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. On August 11, Corley is alleged to have raped a woman in the back of his squad car. The police officer was reportedly on duty in West Philadelphia when he spotted a woman waiting for a bus at around 3:30 a.m.