going on in the courts
By Shealyn Kilroy
New Jersey Attorney General:
A Newark man who was shot by state troopers pleaded guilty on March 4 to carjacking and armed robbery in connection with a February 2015 crime spree, according to the Attorney General’s office. On Feb. 9, 2015, Steven Montgomery was spotted driving in a carjacked minivan by, as the release states, “Officers 1, 2, 3, and 4.” The minivan was reported stolen earlier that morning, and the owner was threatened with a gun. Driving in front of the minivan, Officers 1 and 2 used their police vehicle in efforts to stop the vehicle on South 20th Street. Officer 1 exited the front passenger seat of Officer 2’s vehicle and drew his service weapon while announcing himself as a law enforcement officer and instructing the driver of the silver minivan to stop. Montgomery proceeded to drive onto the curb towards Officer 1 and believed to be reaching for a weapon by the dashboard, according to the officers. Officer 1 shot Montgomery twice, striking Montgomery in the shoulder and wrist and causing non-fatal injuries. A chase ensued after the first two shots were fired.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, all four officers’ statements given to law enforcement were consistent with Officer 1, and therefore, did not raise any suspicion. The Division of Criminal Justice concluded that Officer 1 “used an acceptable level of force” that was “necessary to prevent the escape of an individual who had recently committed several violent crimes using a firearm.” So, Montgomery was charged and may face a up to 18 years in state prison, including more than 15 years of parole ineligibility.
Should the police officers be identified? The full, detailed release can be found here.
Philadelphia District Attorney:
Charged for murdering his father, Victor Gethers, 29, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 2, according to the District Attorney’s office. 82-year-old Soloman Gethers was found stabbed to death his home on the 5700 block of Woodbine Avenue in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia around Dec. 16, 2015. Soloman suffered stabs wounds to his face and neck and was pronounced dead at the scene. Victor lives at the residence and was there when police arrived. Soloman only had a few months to live before being stabbed to death, according to neighbors.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania:
|Judge Joseph O'Neill|
Cody Corderro, 29, of Allentown will spend 30 years in prison for running a sex trafficking business, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Corderro was sentenced on March 4 after pleading guilty on Oct. 30, 2015 to to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, 12 counts of sex trafficking, one count of conspiracy to transport individuals across state lines for the purpose of prostitution, and one count of sex trafficking of a minor Corderro ran his “program,”a term he used himself, on a website similar to Craigslist called Backpage. From at least 2009 to May 2014, Corderro advertise prostitutes he recruited on the site and collected the money the women made. If the women did not follow Corderro’s “rules of the program,” he’d force the women, including a 17-year-old girl, through rape and other violent acts.
Shealyn can be reached at email@example.com.