Philadelphia Criminal Law News

July 2012 Archives

Stabbing with Scissors More Dangerous than Running with Them

We’ve been told time and again not to run with scissors because of the harm that would happen if you tripped and fell on them. Or, maybe you have heard of the Struwwelpeter stories, one of which is about the boy whose thumbs were cut off by giant scissors because he would not stop sucking them.

Oh, the stories parents tell their children.

This, however, is not a story to be told to children. Instead, this is a story about Damon Wylie, who was charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed Marcus Miles to death in Coatesville, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The stabbing occurred after the two men had an altercation. Wylie was found at Crozer Chester Medical Center, where he was being treated for injuries “consistent with using scissors as a weapon.”

Was this really a first-degree murder?

10-year-old Stabs Father in the Neck in Lower Merion Township

Everyone has had the urge to lash out at their parents. You probably did at some point, either through words or perhaps through silence. There may have even been a punch thrown here or there.

However, it's doubtful that things ever got close to fulfilling the nasty thought of "I wish you were dead." Not so in Ardmore, where a 10-year-old boy stabbed his 33-year-old father in the neck, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The father was brought to Paoli Hospital while the boy remained in family custody.

What does it take for a child to be tried as an adult?

Yet Another Priest Arrested in Philadelphia: Fr. Andrew McCormick

With the Lynn verdict and sentencing completed and Brennan headed back to trial, you probably thought the news of sexual abuse in Philadelphia would begin to die down. That just doesn't seem to be the case anytime soon, as victims now know that justice can and will be served against those who abused them.

Father Andrew McCormick is the latest priest to be arrested after accusations of the 1997 sexual abuse of a minor at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg came to light, according to NBC10. The victim said that he wanted to come forward after seeing the coverage surrounding the Sandusky case. McCormick was already in hot water after being put on leave from Sacred Heart in Swedesburg following a 2011 grand jury report.

Why was he not arrested after the original grand jury report?

Butt Injections Cause Death, Get 'Black Madam' a Murder Charge

Has plastic surgery gotten a bit out of hand these days? There are breast implants and facelifts. Then there are tummy tucks, liposuction, and nose jobs. Now people inject collagen into their lips and deadly bacteria into their faces.

The new fad is butt injections, where someone pumps your butt full of silicone to give you a shapelier figure. However, the procedure is not FDA approved.

For that reason, you can only get a black market injection from someone like the “Black Madam,” Padge Windslowe, who is now facing murder charges for a botched butt injection on a British tourist, according to NBC10. This is not a one-time issue for the “Black Madam,” as she faces multiple charges for her black market butt injections.

Monsignor William Lynn Sentenced: 3-6 Years in State Prison

We were all captivated by the first trial of a senior clergy member who was accused of enabling the abuse of children. The trial went on for three months, and the jury deliberated for weeks. Now Monsignor William Lynn has been sentenced.

Judge Teresa Sarmina told Lynn that he knew what was right but "chose wrong" when sentencing him to three to six years in state prison, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The sentence is just short of the maximum that was requested by prosecutors, and far over the probation or county jail term that defense attorneys had requested.

People Topless, and Bottomless, in Public; Is it the Heat?

The heat waves have taken their toll for sure, but now the heat is making people expose themselves in public. There was the topless woman escaping after being held for shoplifting, and then the man who had to be naked to masturbate in public.

Besides being thoroughly amusing, these folks actually broke the law just by being naked. They didn’t have to go to the lengths of shoplifting or masturbating to break the law. Read on to see exactly what happened and exactly how to break the law by being naked.

What Any Mom Would Do? Hack School to Increase Kids' Grades

All the news these days tells us how difficult it is for kids to get into college, how early they have to start thinking about it, and of course, how much it costs. With the right grades, activities, and sports, that kid might have a chance at getting the scholarship that would pay for at least a majority of tuition.

It seems like these worries overtook Catherine Venusto, a former Northwestern Lehigh School District employee, who used the knowledge from her former position to use the superintendent's login and password to access her children's grades, reports The Morning Call. Not only did she access them, she changed her son's grade of 98% to a grade of 99% and changed her daughter's failing grade to a medical exception.

Parking Tickets Just Got Easier to Contest in Philly, Thanks Judge!

You get them every once in a while. Those dang parking tickets that cost you the price of a nice meal out with the significant other, wine and all. Or maybe you don't even pay them until you have a boot on your car or a license suspension, in which case, this news might be music to your ears.

Recently, a judge finally made it easier to challenge a ticket by allowing more access in the challenge process, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. These changes may make it so that less tickets are given out by the Philadelphia Parking Authority ("PPA"). It might even save you some money in the future if you feel that you were given a ticket in error. Read on to see what these changes are.

Taxi Driver Poops on Sidewalk, Indecent Exposure or Worse?

We've all had our emergencies, having to run into a restaurant or gas station to take care of our business even though it was outside of our comfort zone. But what about the sidewalk? This probably has not crossed your mind unless you had a horrible case of food poisoning.

So why is it that a taxi driver felt compelled to drop trow and poop on the sidewalk in Southwest City Center?

After resident Thomas Van Der Grift posted a private surveillance tape on YouTube with an explanation of what he did to try and get it cleaned up, the Philadelphia Parking Authority has started an investigation into the fecal matter, which led to the firing of the Freedom Cab taxi driver, suspension of his taxi license, and potential fines, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

What crimes could the driver also have committed?

Home Invasion, Attack on Elderly Woman Just the Beginning

Some people just don't get the idea that one's elders are to be respected. Instead, they just see them as easy targets to scam with fake products or to overpower and rob.

Maybe that's what Dimetry Worthy thought, who police arrested after multiple home invasions that included at least one attack on an elderly woman. Dimetry Worthy, 19, was caught wearing gloves and holding a hammer after allegedly attempting to break into Joan Stratz' home on Thursday, July 12, reports WTXF-TV.

Worthy is also suspected of beating 86-year-old Yevdokiya "Eva" Rulevskaya while burglarizing her home 24 hours before his arrest.

Road rage is obviously not a new problem. As we mentioned in the blog earlier this week, people get so crazy that they pull crossbows out like it was the time of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Nor was it new back in 1999, when James Schumacher was stabbed for double parking in Kensington while he put his 10-day-old daughter in the car, according to CBS 3.

At the time of the crime Schumacher's assailant fled the scene after stabbing him in the chest, hitting his heart and causing his death three days later, according to WPVI. However, even though Schumacher was bleeding profusely, he told his frightened wife to not touch the hat that had fallen off the assailant in the scuffle leading to the stabbing.

Crossbow Road Rage Gets Butterworth Arrested

We all get mad on the roads. People drive like jerks and we have to deal with it. There's a bumper sticker that relates well to the situation and it goes something like this, "if you're on the road, and not me..." You can probably figure out the rest.

This seemed to be the problem that Kenneth Butterworth (no relation to Mrs. Butterworth) had the other day. After having another car pull in front of him, Butterworth drove beside the car and pointed his loaded crossbow at the other driver, in some sort of crossbow road rage, according to Metro Philadelphia. The victim called 911 and followed Butterworth to a parking lot, where again Butterworth pointed the crossbow at him.

Criminal Record Expungement; Mistakes Shouldn't Follow You Forever

We've all applied for jobs and had to fill out the form application that always has the question about whether you've been convicted of a crime. We all also know that checking that box and having to explain is most likely the kiss of death for actually getting the job.

It's not like this only happens to normal people, even Eagles' running backs might need a little help with Philadelphia criminal record expungement. So what can be done about it?

Pulling the Fire Alarm Gets You in Jail, Not in the Hampton Inn

What was that kid in your school’s awesome idea to get out of class? Oh, that’s right, to pull the fire alarm to try and avoid the test for that day. Then, as now, it never did anything but get the alarm puller detention.

Evidently, Eagles’ backup running back Dion Lewis and his brother did not learn this lesson in school, because they thought that pulling the alarm at a Hampton Inn would help them enter their hotel room after forgetting their key, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

Instead, Lewis faces the adult version of detention or even suspension from school.

Red Light Camera Amnesty for Philly, But Expands to Suburbs

There's the yellow light, so you hammer the gas. FLASH! and there goes the red-light camera. It's happened again, and you will wait to see if you get the lovely picture of yourself in the mail.

Did this happen to you over the June 30th/July 1st weekend? In that case, you might be in luck. On 12:01am June 30, the red-light camera law expired, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Pennsylvania Legislature re-approved the law but it wasn't signed by Governor Corbett until Monday. This means that this past weekend, red-light runners had a get out of jail free card.

Unfortunately for those too busy to stop at a yellow light, re-approval also extended the law into the surrounding counties.

How Occupy National Gathering in Philly Can Avoid Occupying Jail

The protesters are back in town and they're occupying everything. Well, not everything, but there is a revival of the Occupy movement and it is much more organized than prior protests.

This National Gathering, or #NatGat on Twitter, has specific events planned for different days beginning the weekend before July 4th and lasting through the week, according to NBC10.

Sunday night is when the inevitable happened. That night, 26 protesters were arrested during a march to City Hall for disorderly conduct and obstructing a roadway, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The protesters were not released until Monday.

So if you're thinking of going and marching with the #NatGat, here are some tips to keep you out of jail -- unless you'd like that protest cred.