Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Amid Riot Over Police Shooting, Philly Hits 400 Murders

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net.

We interrupt the rioting, looting and requisite political pandering over the fatal police shooting yesterday of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27 year-old black man armed with a knife, to make an important announcement -- the city of Philadelphia just hit 400 murders.

Barry Torrance, a 44-year-old black man, was found shot in the head yesterday by his aunt on the 4800 block of Westminster Avenue in West Philadelphia, ironically just four blocks from where the rioting and looting erupted on 52nd Street over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

Torrance, who subsequently died of his wounds, became the city's 400th homicide for the year. By comparison, as of Oct. 12th, New York City, with more than five times the population of Philadelphia, had only 362 murders. 

In Philadelphia, there have been less than a dozen officer-involved shootings this year, but they sure get a lot of attention, especially when the victim involved is black, and the officers involved are white, as was the case yesterday. Meanwhile, the city has 400 homicides on the books this year, as well as 132 suspicious deaths that may turn out to be homicides. 

A conservative estimate of Philly's homicides this year is that at least 90%, or 360 of the victims, are black, as are the 118 victims whose deaths have been classified as suspicious. But apparently when it comes to our current racial politics, those hundreds of black lives don't matter. So the demonstrators who marched on the police station at 55th and Pine were not chanting "Say his name" when it came to Barry Torrence, Homicide Victim No. 400. No, instead, they were chanting about Walter Wallace Jr., a  career criminal with 18 prior arrests, including five assaults on cops. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

U.S. Attorney Rips Krasner, Inky, Over Killing By D.A.'s Staffer

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It's day two of the local news media blackout over the latest scandal in the Philly D.A.'s office, involving a gun violence counselor who shot and killed a male prostitute.

And who's trying to expose the ongoing cover up? 

U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain went on Twitter today to rip D.A. Larry Krasner:

"Your Philly DA's office: where Krasner hires an employee who allegedly ends up shooting and killing a man. You can't even make this stuff up. The destruction that Krasner has wrought on that office is a tragedy."

McSwain subsequently went on Twitter again to rip The Philadelphia Inquirer, which, as usual, was sleeping through another news cycle involving possible bad publicity for their favorite progressive D.A.:

"So where's the @PhillyInquirer article on this? Everybody knows that the Inquirer bends over backwards to protect Krasner, but this is a little too obvious -- even for them."

Gabriel Escobar, editor and vice president of the Inquirer, did not respond to an email and questions posed on Twitter as to why the Inquirer continues to cover up for Larry Krasner. Meanwhile, Krasner, along with his alleged spokesperson, Jane Roh, were stonewalling as usual, refusing to comment. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

DA's Gun Violence Counselor Shoots And Kills Male Prostitute

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

As a member of the District Attorney's Immediate Response Team, DeVonte' Douglass routinely goes out to crime scenes, hospitals, and the medical examiner's office when there's been a homicide, to aid victims' families. 

Shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday, Douglass had an up close and personal experience involving a homicide in a case where Douglass was identified by police as the shooter. But according to Douglass's version of the story, he was also a crime victim.

It happened shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday, at the intersection of 31st and Lehigh Streets, adjacent to the Mount Peace Cemetery. At a time when most employees at the D.A.'s office are expected to be at work, Douglass told police he shot and killed Vernon Harris, whom he had met on Instagram, and agreed "to a sexual encounter in exchange for money," police said.

According to police, the two black males met at 27th and Cambria. Douglass, 28, of the 2900 block of North Bambrey St.,  got into a white Dodge Durango driven by Harris, 31, of the 1800 block of Harrison Street, and then they drove to the cemetery. After their encounter, which took place in the back seat of the vehicle, with the windows open, Douglass told police, Harris stood outside the vehicle and pointed a gun at Douglass, and demanded all his money.

Harris then placed his gun inside his waistband. But when Harris started reaching around the vehicle, Douglass told police that he feared that Harris was going to take out his gun again and shoot him. So Douglass drew his gun and shot Harris twice in the chest, killing him. Then he ran across Lehigh Avenue, pleading for someone to call police. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Man With 5 Prior Arrests For Beating His Wife Stabs Her To Death

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At 10:28 p.m. on Thursday night, Elwood Walton walked up to cops in the parking lot outside the 18th Police District at 55th and Pine, and confessed that he had just killed somebody.

That somebody turned out to be Walton's wife. Cops went to the address supplied by Walton, a two-story row house in the 5700 block of Walton Avenue. Inside, they found the victim, identified as Marilyn Zellars, 54, lying on the floor of the living room under a pile of debris that included clothes and sheets that had been soaked with blood and bleach. The victim had been stabbed multiple times in the face, neck and stomach, the cops said; she also had deep purple bruises on the torso and buttocks. 

Walton, 40, the confessed killer, had 16 prior arrests, including five cases of alleged domestic abuse where Zellars was the alleged victim, along with six additional assault arrests involving other alleged victims. For the past three years, Walton has been out on $25,000 unsecured bail, meaning he didn't have to put up a cent to stay out of jail, as he awaited a new trial after he appealed his most recent conviction. It's an open domestic assault case from 2017, where Zellars was the complainant.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by a medic at 10:40 p.m. Police said the house had been the setting of a violent struggle, with the victim bleeding heavily throughout the house. Police found blood splattered on a second floor stairs, a second floor hallway, a bathroom, and in the back and front bedrooms. Police also found a plastic bag in the basement filled with blood-stained women's clothing.

Friday, October 16, 2020

In Court, AG Seeks To Cover Up Collusion, Leaks, In Sandusky Case

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The ethically-challenged state attorney general's office has argued in state Superior Court that a secret diary compiled by a former FBI agent that documents rampant collusion and multiple grand jury leaks by the AG's office during the Jerry Sandusky investigation amounts to "purely speculation."

Sandusky's lawyers are seeking an evidentiary hearing where Kathleen McChesney, the decorated former FBI agent who's the author of the diary, would be brought in for questioning. Sandusky's lawyers also want to question former deputy attorney general Frank Fina, a noted bad actor in this case who also happens to be the alleged leaker repeatedly fingered by McChesney in her diary.

But rather than take on the facts as posed in newly discovered evidence, Jennifer Buck, the senior deputy attorney general in charge of the AG's appeals and legal services division, argued Wednesday before a panel of three judges that such an evidentiary hearing would amount to a "fishing expedition," and that's why Sandusky's appeal for a new trial should be dismissed on procedural grounds.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The D.A., A Non-Violent Prisoner Release, And A Brutal Murder

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At a June 8th City Council budget hearing, District Attorney Larry Krasner was asked about the recidivism rate of the more than 1,000 criminals that Krasner had just let out of jail during the Covid-19 crisis.

Only 4.7 percent of the prisoners were recharged, presumably for such low-level offenses as turnstile jumping, graffiti writing, or driving under the influence, the jovial Krasner told the City Council. And less than 1% of the prisoners he released, the D.A. bragged, were recharged with a violent offense. 

"We were of course selective about primarily making sure these were nonviolent offenses," Krasner assured the council, "so you don't see any sort of a crime spike coming out of it." 

Meet Jamal Brinson, one of those supposedly nonviolent criminals that Krasner let out jail during the Covid crisis. At just 20 years of age, Brinson, of North Philadelphia, had five previous arrests on a total of 17 charges for offenses that included selling hundreds of packets of heroin, and dozens of packets of crack cocaine, as well as robbery, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. 

Brinson also happened to be on probation for a gunpoint robbery when he got busted three times in two months last year for selling drugs. But despite his violent, drug-dealing past, Brinson was placed on the Covid-19 Public Defender's Parole List No. 1. On April 17th, the D.A.'s office agreed to Brinson's release, after he had served only one month of a sweetheart plea bargaining deal previously arranged by the D.A.'s office that sentenced Brinson to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail.

What did Brinson do with his newfound freedom? Just 20 days after he got out of jail, on May 6th, Brinson played the lookout in the attempted robbery and murder of a Dominican bodega owner, who was shot in the face by Brinson's partner in crime, and died three days later. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

What Are These Guys Doing Out On The Street?

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At 8 p.m. last night, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of men standing on the 4900 block of Frankford Avenue. One man was killed; six others were wounded.

All the victims were black males, but none were choir boys. Between them, the seven men had 51 prior arrests, including seven arrests for violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. As far as the shooter goes, nobody knows how many priors he's got, but hopefully, we'll find that out when he's in custody.

In the last two days, there have been 17 shootings in Philadelphia, resulting in one murder, and many more victims in critical condition. The city is now up to 371 homicides, which puts us on a pace for 435 to 460 for the year. Meanwhile, in New York City, which has more than five times the population of Philadelphia, as of Oct. 4th, there were only 346 murders.

Why are there so many murders in Philadelphia? The simple answer is that there are far too many dangerous guys who belong in jail, but instead are out on the streets of Philadelphia, shooting each other on a nightly basis. And who's responsible for emptying the city's jails? Anecdotal evidence, like what happened last night on Frankford Avenue, as well as a recent study, point to the one guy who's responsible for all this mayhem: District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Black Detective: D.A. Krasner Running 'Tuskegee-Type' Experiment

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

With his radical version of criminal justice reform, District Attorney Larry Krasner is conducting a Tuskegee-type experiment on the population of Philadelphia, an experiment that's knowingly causing the preventable deaths of hundreds of black males.

That's the explosive charge a former homicide detective who happens to be black has made in an appeals brief filed in the Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The brief is the latest chapter in a whistleblower lawsuit that the detective had previously filed against the D.A.'s office in U.S. District Court alleging prosecutorial misconduct in Krasner's indictment of a white police officer who shot a black dirt biker to death.

"Krasner's District Attorney's Office of corruption has instituted a 'Tuskegee' type experiment on the citizens of Philadelphia," Detective Derrick Jacobs wrote in a 27-page appeal brief filed last month that requests oral arguments in the case.

"While authoring this brief approximately 34 citizens were shot and 7 killed in approximately 24 hours in Philadelphia," Jacobs wrote. "Most, if not all of the victims, were African Americans." 

"There are approximately 348 homicides in the city" composed of "mostly African Americans," Jacobs wrote. "The increase in violence being perpetrated against this community is predominantly the direct result of the systemic corruption and policies at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, headed by Krasner."