Saturday, February 29, 2020

Inky Op-Ed Panning D.A. Krasner Cites Big Trial Scoops


In case you missed it, A. Benjamin Mannes, an expert on security and criminal justice reform, wrote an op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday speculating on whether the Philadelphia D.A.'s office could handle a major prosecution like the recent case against Harvey Weinstein.

The headline on the story: "Manhattan's district attorney took down Harvey Weinstein. Could Philly's do the same? Opinion."

Spoiler alert: Mannes has his doubts about whether the office headed up by Progressive Larry Krasner is up to the challenge. That's because Krasner got rid of 31 veteran prosecutors, and runs an office that according to Mannes, seems to "prioritize social justice over criminal justice."

In his critique of Philly's floundering D.A.'s office, Mannes sites two Big Trial scoops -- the first about 18 new assistant district attorneys hired by Krasner flunking the bar exam; the second about the D.A.'s failure to "charge a corrupt pharmacist arrested with $30,000 worth of Xanax." It's amazing the Inky ran the piece.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cops Previously Issued Two Arrest Warrants For Man Who Murdered Pregnant Woman, But D.A. Twice Declined To Prosecute

Killer Got Two Passes From Progressive Larry
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In the two weeks before Razique Bumpas killed a 39-year-old pregnant woman, police issued two arrest warrants for Bumpas that could have prevented the murders.

The two warrants, issued Feb. 8th, and Feb. 15th, were for making terroristic threats, after Bumpas allegedly drove up in traffic alongside a car that the mother of his girlfriend was riding in and pulled a gun on her.

But, sources say, the district attorney's office twice declined to prosecute that case, and instead kept asking for more information. The D.A. wanted the accused's phone number as well as GPS numbers that would have placed the accused at the scene of the crime. Tragically, while the D.A.'s office was demanding more information, Bumpas went out and murdered another woman, as well as her unborn child, and he also critically shot and wounded another man.

In response, John Hoyt, a veteran police captain and former detective who is the recording secretary for Philadelphia Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police, said that for allegations of domestic abuse, there isn't the same threshold for evidence required to bring a case to court because of changes in the law that are designed to protect victims.

"I don't know what the D.A.'s office was thinking in requiring so much information for an arrest," Hoyt said. "We're disappointed that yet again this district attorney's office is ignoring systems and processes put in place to protect victims of crime in Philadelphia, specifically victims of domestic abuse. And yet here we are again with a preventable tragedy."

Cosmo DiNardo's Descent Into Madness

Cosmo DiNardo and his mother on prom night
By Ralph Cipriano
for Philadelphia magazine

In the middle of a murder rampage, Cosmo DiNardo had an appointment to see his psychiatrist. So on the afternoon of July 6, 2017, the 20-year-old from Bucks County dutifully climbed in the front passenger seat of his mother's SUV, and they headed south on I-95, toward West Philadelphia.

At the University of Pennsylvania, Christian Kohler specialized in evaluating and treating young people dealing with an initial onset of mental illness. He'd been seeing Cosmo since November 2016 and was treating him for bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia. He'd had him committed to a mental hospital -- though Cosmo had been released -- and was medicating him with anti-psychotic drugs . . .

Even as he sat in the waiting room that day at Penn, killing time before he saw Kohler, Cosmo used his iPad to google the "Soup Maker Cartel," a Mexican drug syndicate known for making "soup" out of some 300 murder victims by dissolving their bodies in barrels of acid.

This was the frightening mind-set of the young man Kohler would see that day. But the psychiatrist seemed unaware that he was dealing with a time bomb. In his notes, Kohler wrote that his patient posed "no clear risk to self or others. So Cosmo walked out of Kohler's office and drove home with his mom . . . The rest of the story can be read here.

Monday, February 24, 2020

State Supreme Court Orders Investigation Of D.A. In Mumia Appeal

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The state Supreme Court today granted a King's Bench petition sought by the widow of murdered Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, who was seeking to oust D.A. Larry Krasner from acting as prosecutor during an appeal for a new trial on behalf of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Krasner sparked yet another appeal in the 40-year-old murder case by claiming that he had found newly discovered evidence when he took over the D.A.'s office, in the form of six boxes of old documents. Lawyers for the convicted cop-killer then went into state Superior Court, seeking a hearing on the alleged newly discovered evidence, which turned out to be not so new, and Krasner rolled over, saying he wouldn't object to Mumia getting a new trial.

That prompted the slain officer's widow, Maureen Faulkner, to go to state Supreme Court, seeking to disqualify Krasner as prosecutor in the case based on a conflict of interest. In the King's Bench position, Maureen Faulkner's lawyer, George Bochetto, spotlighted Krasner's radical past twenty years ago as a "movement attorney" and "strategist" on behalf of R2K, a legal collective organized by the National Lawyers Guild. The left-wing outfit has long listed Jamal as an active board member. In granting the King's Bench petition, the state Supreme Court deferred a final ruling on the widow's request to disqualify Krasner until an investigation is completed by a court-appointed "special master," who will probe Krasner's radical past and report back to the state Supreme Court.

D.A.'s Newest Senior Adviser Is A Disbarred Lawyer

Holston [middle] with Asa Khalif of Black Lives Matter at Krasner's victory party
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia District Attorney's office hired Gregory Holston at $140,000 a year to serve as a senior advisor on advocacy and policy.

Holston, a pastor in the United Methodist Church, was described by Jane Roh of the D.A.'s office in a press release as a "civil rights and faith leader who was the former executive director of POWER Philadelphia, an interfaith justice advocacy organization." In announcing the appointment, Roh wrote that Holston "will work to strengthen relationships, build trust, and improve cooperation among Philadelphia communities in partnership with civic, government, and law enforcement officials."

According to Roh, internally Holston "will advise DAO employees on ways to integrate social justice best practices and community-based policies and procedures into their work." And externally, Holston will "work to advance the mission of the DAO to make the criminal justice system more accessible and accountable, in order to build trust in law enforcement the DAO, and the court system," Roh wrote.

In her press release about the appointment of Holston, Roh mentioned his law degree from Georgetown University, but she left something out of Holston's resume, namely his disbarment as a lawyer in 1993 by the state Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. And what was Holston disbarred for? According to court records, Holston forged a judge's signature on a phony divorce decree, and when questioned about it by the judge, he lied.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Proof Positive That The Inky Is In The Tank For D.A. Krasner

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In Common Pleas Court yesterday, an angry Judge Gwendolyn Bright spent several minutes berating a top official in the district attorney's office for allegedly making a "veiled threat" against her.

According to her remarks from the bench, the judge complained to First Assistant District Attorney Robert Listenbee, that the D.A.'s office, in a sealed motion filed with the court, had threatened her with filing yet another appeal if she didn't amend a Jan. 31st order. In that order, the judge had instructed the D.A.'s office to subpoena former altar boy Danny Gallagher, AKA "Billy Doe," and have him present in the courtroom on March 16th, when the retrial of Msgr. William J. Lynn is scheduled to take place.

Such a "veiled threat" is "inappropriate," the judge lectured Listenbee. She added that no such threats should ever be included in any motion to any judge. In response, an apologetic Listenbee was backpedaling all the way, while continuously professing his respect for the judge.

All of this happened under the nose of a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, who didn't mention it in a story posted today. Emails to the reporter and his editor seeking an explanation for this glaring omission went unanswered. In the absence of an official response, I can only say it's amazing the lengths that the Inquirer will go to protect a fellow progressive Democrat, D.A. Larry Krasner.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

D.A. Won't 'Re-Traumatize' Billy Doe By Calling Him As A Witness


D.A. Krasner: perverter of justice
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In a new low for the district attorney's office -- in a case that's full of them -- D.A. Larry Krasner today sent his top assistant out to  threaten a judge into allowing him to stage a show trial alleging sex abuse against the Catholic Church, without having to put an alleged victim of abuse on the witness stand.

The problem for Krasner is that the alleged victim in this case, Danny Gallagher, AKA "Billy Doe," has been repeatedly revealed to be a fraud. And if Gallagher does take the stand, defense lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn will call as their star witness, Joseph Walsh, the D.A.'s former lead detective in the case. Walsh will testify that after he caught Gallagher telling one lie after another in a pretrial prep session, the former altar boy flat-out admitted to the detective that he had made up his most outrageous allegations of abuse.

So in Common Pleas Court today, Krasner's top lieutenant, First Assistant District Attorney Robert Listenbee Jr., showed up to try and browbeat Judge Gwendolyn Bright into amending her order requiring the D.A.'s office to subpoena Gallagher for the March 16th scheduled retrial of Msgr. Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former secretary for clergy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New Police Commissioner Issues First Official Order About Nail Polish

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On her first official day in office, new Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, dressed in full uniform, made the rounds yesterday, to formally meet and greet many of the troops serving under her.

It was all going according to protocol until somebody took issue with the new police commissioner's nails.

What was the problem? Well, Outlaw, 43, a West Coast native who is the first black woman to serve as the city's police commissioner, was sporting her signature black nails. This may not have been a fashion faux pax, but apparently it was a violation of official department policy. Why? Because, according to the official directives of the stodgy Philly P.D., "only clear nail polish is acceptable while in uniform."

What happened next has the whole department talking. Outlaw, apparently still steamed about the nail controversy, came in to work this morning and issued her first official order, which was to effectively do away with the clear polish directive. The new police commissioner was obviously letting everybody know there's a new sheriff in town. But the police reaction to their new commissioner's order was predictably split along gender lines.

Friday, February 7, 2020

D.A. Frees Stoned Pharmacist Caught With $30,000 Worth Of Xanax

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At 4:04 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2017, a patrol officer responded to a call for an auto accident at the corner of Front and Dudley Streets in South Philadelphia. The officer found a tipsy driver behind the wheel of a 2008 silver Nissan that had just crashed into two parked vehicles, but the Nissan was still running, and in drive.

As the cop approached the vehicle, she smelled burnt marijuana. She also observed the driver, Anthony M. Chong, 23, of Galloway Township, N.J. stuffing numerous plastic bags filled with white, bar-shaped pills into a back pack. When the cop asked Chong to get out of the car, he responded, "Hold on, I'm eating my chips."

Chong, who refused to take a breathalyzer test, according to police, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. He told the officer he was a pharmacy student at Temple University who was currently working for CVS, both in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Apparently, Chong was taking his work home with him. When police conducted a search of the car, they recovered a total of 1,494 Xanax pills, 2 mg. each, with a street value of $29,880. When the officer asked if Chong had stolen the drugs from his employer, according to a police report, he responded with a blank stare and a smirk, and then a a slurred "No."

Monday, February 3, 2020

Louie Freeh 'Sold Penn State Down The River'; Then Vultures Attacked


By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Dr. John Nichols, a professor emeritus of communications at Penn State, is the founder of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, a national alliance created to give college faculty a voice on sports issues.

He's testified before Congress on how to reform the NCAA; he's served as chair of the university's faculty senate. He also was a member of the search committee that hired Bill O'Brien to replace Joe Paterno as Penn State football coach.

Last week, Nichols appeared on Search Warrant, the cop-hosted podcast, to air his longstanding grievances with the 2012 Freeh Report on the sex scandal at Penn State. Nichols also decried the ongoing coverup of the scandal behind the scandal by Penn State's stonewalling board of trustees.

In an episode entitled A Smoking Gun? Part 1, Nichols charged that rather than serve Penn State, the client that paid him $8 million to investigate the sex scandal, former FBI Director Louis Freeh's main motivation was to "ingratiate himself with the NCAA," so he could become their "go-to investigator" for future collegiate scandals.

"He [Freeh] sold his client Penn State down the river in anticipation of making big bucks in the form of further business from the NCAA," Nichols said. Then, after the Freeh Report issued its faulty conclusions on Penn State based on nonexistent facts, Nichols said, "the vultures . . . swooped down on this sad case to make political hay out of this case, or to make big bucks out of the case."

 

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