Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Murder / Manslaughter in Philadelphia

Murder and manslaughter are crimes committed when one person takes the life of another, but the two are otherwise very different. Murder that is both willful and planned in advance is the most serious form of homicide and is referred to as first-degree murder. Second-degree murder is intentional but not premeditated, or is a homicide caused by dangerous acts in the absence of concern for others. While voluntary manslaughter is an intentional but unplanned killing commonly done “in the heat of passion,” involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional homicide resulting from an unlawful act such as a DWI.

These crimes are best defended by a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney or at least a public defender. Manslaughter convictions come with either probation or some prison time, while first-degree murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, or even the death penalty.

Recently in Murder / Manslaughter Category

Pa. Road Rage Shooting Suspect at Large, Driver Called 911

Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI have launched a manhunt for a gunman involved in a fatal road rage shooting. Before being shot to death, 28-year-old Timothy Davison called 911 to report someone was chasing him on a stretch of highway in Pennsylvania.

Sadly, Davison did not survive the attack.

2nd Brother Caught in SEPTA Shooting

The second suspect in the SEPTA train shooting earlier this month has been caught.

Matthew Early was arrested about 6 p.m. Friday as he was watching TV at a friend's house, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. He was taken into custody without incident.

Matthew, 18, and his brother Eric were both sought in relation to a Dec. 12 shooting that took place on a SEPTA train at the 49th Street El Station. The two brothers allegedly got into a war of words with two Chicago Bulls fans on their way home from a Bulls-Sixers game.

Eric Early's Bail Set for SEPTA Shooting; Brother Still at Large

In the past few weeks, there's been talk of gun control and subway safety, in light of two different recent events.

Now, a recent Philadelphia story brings the two issues together as bail has been set for Eric Early in a shooting on a SEPTA train last week.

Early, who is only 17 according to KYW Newsradio, is being held on $5 million bail. For the youngster, this likely means that he will stay behind bars as he awaits his court hearings.

Inmate Tries to Kill Justin Bieber From Jail Cell in Bizarre Plot

Poor Justin Bieber. Or rather, lucky Justin Bieber, as he was spared a grim fate. Police foiled an alleged plot to castrate and murder the teen sensation earlier this week, writes

The plot was reportedly hatched by Dana Martin, a convicted murderer who is serving two life sentences for raping and killing a 15-year-old Vermont girl.

He allegedly hired two hit men to carry out his new plot, including one fellow inmate of his from Las Cruces prison in New Mexico.

Tyrese Ford Pleads Guilty in Shooting Death at T&T Lounge

A young man could face spending most of his life behind bars after he was sentenced this week in the shooting death last year of a Frankford High all-city linebacker.

Tyrese Ford has been sentenced in the shooting death last year of twenty-year-old Christopher Spence, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ford pleaded guilty to third degree murder and as a result, will face 18 to 40 years behind bars.

Homeless Man in NYC Subway Murder Had a Pennsylvania History

As passers-by noticed swarms of police in Times Square on Monday, they were only met with "you'll see it in the news" when asking the officers what was going on.

And in the news, it was. A man was pushed into the New York subway near Times Square on Monday, reports USA Today.

Now, the man accused of pushing 58-year old Ki-Suck Han is facing second degree murder charges for the death. And as it turns out, Naeem Davis doesn't only have a criminal history in New York. He also has a history of prior arrests in Pennsylvania on drug possession, writes USA Today.

Murder Wave Hits Philly Over the Weekend

Philadelphia has seen a wave of homicides in recent days, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Seven people died over the weekend, writes The Inquirer. Including these were two bodies found in a house on the 1700 block of Erie Avenue in Tioga. David Williams, 23, was arrested in connection with both of those killings. One of these bodies was identified as Anthony Hicks and the other body has yet to be identified.

According to police reports, Hicks was shot in the head. The other man found on the second floor of the house was found with gunshot wounds to the chest and head.

Update: Raghu Yandamuri Appears in Court

Raghu Yandamuri needed a very good attorney to help him face charges of the murder of baby Saanvi Venna and her grandmother.

It looks like he lucked out with his court-appointed public defender. This Wednesday, Yandamuri had his preliminary hearing where he appeared in front of a judge with his attorney, reports The Philadelphia Daily News.

We wrote about what it takes to get a court appointed defender in a recent post. Yandamuri is charged with the murder of a baby girl and her grandmother -- a killing which he claims stemmed from financial motives. Essentially, he was having financial trouble and saw ransom as a way out.

Saanvi Venna Laid to Rest, Family Friend Charged With Murder

An East Norriton family faced their grief head-on over the weekend, as they laid their ten-month- old daughter to rest.

Baby Saanvi Venna's murder made national headlines, when her grandmother was found dead in the family's King of Prussia apartment last week.

Saanvi's grandmother, Satayrathi Venna, 61, who apparently died protecting her granddaughter, was babysitting the child at the time, The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. The baby was abducted from her grandmother's care. The grandmother was found with her throat slashed, the baby missing, when parents Venkata Konda Venna and Chenchu Punuru came home to their apartment last week.

Deliberations Begin in Keisha Jones' Car-Crushing Trial

Is Keisha Jones a criminal or is she the victim of an unfortunate accident?

Jones, 31, is currently being tried for the death of her husband, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her husband was crushed to death by her car in 2011.

Now, Jones is claiming that her car gear became stuck as the car plowed towards her husband.

According to the Inquirer, Jones claims that she was distraught after her husband's death, and that the death was the result of a tragic and unfortunate accident.