Thursday, February 25, 2021

Where's The Macy's Rapist At? Don't Ask Our Clueless D.A.

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

How clueless is the District Attorney's office in Philadelphia under D.A. Larry Krasner?

Yesterday morning, Assistant District Attorney Lyandra Retacco stood in front of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dugan, to discuss the whereabouts of one Jaleel Uqdah, 22, of West Philadelphia.

Mr. Uqdah had a status conference scheduled in front of the judge because he had been arrested during the George Floyd riots last June for allegedly breaking into a Family Dollar store and doing some free shopping. Of course, Uqdah got a get-out-of-jail free card from his Uncle Larry shortly after his arrest, and so he was recently at large.

But Assistant District Attorney Retacco didn't think Uqdah was a free man. In court, according to court records, she told the judge that Uqdah was still in custody at the Delaware County Prison where Retacco believed Uqdah was still serving time for a previous 2017 arrest for receiving stolen property. 

And so at the hearing in front of Judge Dugan, the public defender agreed to accept service on Uqdah's behalf of the notice of when to appear in court next on April 1st in Courtroom 406. 

The only problem: a couple of hours earlier yesterday morning, at 7:30 a.m., police were out in West Philadelphia arresting Uqdah for raping a 55 year-old woman in a rest room at Macy's. It took the coordinated efforts of the Philadelphia police, the public, and SEPTA police, working with surveillance footage from both Macy's and SEPTA, to catch the accused rapist.

And so Uqdah was in custody yesterday, charged with rape, robbery and aggravated assault, with no thanks to the brain dead district attorney's office. Now we can only hope that Let-Em-Loose Larry doesn't let Mr. Uqdah out of jail again.

D.A.'s Staffer Beats Murder Rap In Shooting Death of Prostitute

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The state Attorney General's office has decided that a staff member of the Philadelphia District Attorney's office acted in self defense last year when he shot and killed a male prostitute.

At 10 a.m. on Oct. 20, 2020, DeVonte' Douglass, then the D.A.'s gun violence coordinator, shot and killed Vernon Harris, whom he had met on Instagram, and agreed to meet near the Mount Peace cemetery to have "a sexual encounter in exchange for money," police said.

“After a thorough investigation into the fatal shooting of Vernon Harris on October 20, 2020, the Office of Attorney General has determined Devonte’ Douglass acted in self defense when he fired his weapon and will not be charged with homicide," a spokesperson for the AG's office said today.

However, the spokesperson said, "Mr. Douglass was arrested and charged for other crimes surrounding Mr. Harris’ death, including soliciting for prostitution and misleading investigators about the facts surrounding the fatal shooting.” Douglass was also charged with possession of an instrument of crime.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Larry Krasner Doubles Down On Stupid

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The "Wall of Remembrance" in the D.A.'s office that honors 24 cops killed in the line of duty remains covered by a shroud that bears the repeated emblem of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

And at a press conference yesterday, District Attorney Larry Krasner compounded his prior sins of arrogance and deceit by doubling down on stupid.

"I do not regret doing what is legally required," Krasner told reporters. To get himself out of a public relations jam, the D.A. yesterday blamed the pandemic. Because of the pandemic, the D.A. claimed, the large conference room on the mezzanine level of the D.A.'s office where the Wall of Remembrance is located inside had to be used for "new" purposes that legally required the "temporary blockage" of the wall.

What Krasner was attempting to do through obfuscation and legal mumbo-jumbo was to imply that because of the pandemic, the conference room where the wall is located was being used by the D.A.'s office to convene a grand jury, about which everything is supposed to be kept secret.

Krasner also attempted to use the police commissioner as a shield to protect himself from further negative political fallout. He did this by telling reporters that he contacted Outlaw to explain what happened, and by implying that everything was Jake with the P.C. 

"The commissioner is now aware of the details surrounding the temporary blockage of those photographs from public view," Krasner assured reporters. Of course, he refused to admit he made any mistake and of course he didn't apologize, which would have ended this sorry episode.

Because here's what the general public may not understand about Larry Krasner -- he views himself as a messiah. A messiah who's leading a criminal justice revolution to free the oppressed, which constitutes anybody who's currently behind bars. 

And as a messiah who's trying to free his people, Larry Krasner is not only infallible. He's also far above being questioned by mere mortals about any of his lofty new policies and procedures. All of which apparently came down from Mount Sinai the day the anointed one took office

Friday, February 19, 2021

Real Justice PAC Poured More Than $100,000 Into D.A.'s Campaign

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

District Attorney Larry Krasner has a cozy relationship with a West Coast political action committee that's become his biggest campaign donor.

The Real Justice PAC of San Francisco has been pouring cash, in-kind services and even rent money into Krasner's reelection campaign, to the tune of more than $100,000.

The only problem: the city of Philadelphia's legal limit on yearly contributions from PACs is just $12,600. That's why the city's Board of Ethics is monitoring the "Lawrence Krasner For District Attorney" campaign committee, and the contributions they've been raking in from the Real Justice PAC.

Because both the D.A.'s campaign committee and his favorite PAC are known offenders. Two years ago, the Board of Ethics finalized an agreement that called for both the Real Justice PAC and Krasner's campaign committee to fork over a total of $23,000 in fines and "disgorgements" [or forfeits] for breaking city election laws back in 2017 with donations over and above the city's legal limits. 

And now with Krasner running for reelection in the May 18th Democratic primary, both the Real Justice PAC and the D.A.'s campaign committee are at it again. According to Real Justice's filings last year with the Federal Election Commission, the PAC listed as campaign contributions to Krasner a $25,000 donation made on April 15, 2020, and a $50,000 donation made on July 30, 2020. 

But in financial reports that Real Justice PAC filed with the city, and in a financial report filed by the Krasner committee with the state, to date, both entities have only disclosed the $25,000 contribution. So the question becomes on which forms was Real Justice telling the truth? Was it with the city or was it with the feds?

Real Justice isn't talking; neither is Krasner nor his campaign committee. But J. Shane Creamer Jr., executive director of the city's Board of Ethics, is watching.

"I'm aware of all their public filings and I have no comment," Creamer said. 

D.A. Covers Up Wall Memorializing Cops Killed In Line Of Duty

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In a move that's sure to offend every cop in the city, District Attorney Larry Krasner's office has covered up a "Wall of Remembrance" that features a couple dozen plaques honoring hero cops who died in the line of duty.

The Wall of Remembrance is located on the mezzanine level inside the Ray Harley Conference Room at the D.A.'s office at 3 S. Penn Square.

"A fucking disgrace," said one cop. "Here's what Krasner thinks of cops who have died in the line of duty," texted another cop who sent along the photo at left.

In the photo, the wall is covered with a backdrop that bears the repeated images of the DAO logo of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

We already knew that Larry Krasner hates cops. When he was a defense lawyer, he sued the police department 75 times. At his victory party, the crowd chanted "Fuck the FOP." 

But this move is over the top.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Police Commissioner Outlaw To Tour Barber Shops & Nail Salons

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Here's a rundown on the early highlights from this week's police blotter.

On Monday, a man who claimed to be the victim of an armed carjacking in Center City whipped out a registered gun and shot an alleged perp twice in the head. 

Up in the Somerton section of the city, neighbors were still reeling from the murder of Pete Gerold, whom they described as a gentle soul. His body was hacked to pieces last week by a crazed felon who was yet another recent recipient of a get-out-of-jail-free card from our district attorney.

And as of yesterday, the city's body count over the first 47 days of the New Year was up to 71 murders. That's a whopping 48% increase over last year's murder rate of 499, the highest body count in 30 years. At this rate, we'll  set an all-time record this year with 738 murders!

And meanwhile, over at police headquarters, what was Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw up to? Why in her latest crimefighting effort, the P.C. was ready to embark on a meet and greet tour of the city's beauty salons, barber shops, and nail salons. 

Seriously. It's a goodwill effort that has some of her troops laughing and snickering in disbelief.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Inquirer Gives D.A. Krasner A Pass On Release Of U-Haul Hacker

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On Valentine's Day, The Philadelphia Inquirer just planted a big sloppy wet kiss on a guy they've been sweet on for a long time.

In a story about the arrest of Taray Herring, the U-Haul Hacker, the Inquirer blatantly suppressed court records that show District Attorney Larry Krasner's prominent role in allowing Herring, a registered sex offender with more than a dozen arrests on his rap sheet, to be released last June from jail without having to post any bail.

On June 9, 2020, after the public defender filed a motion on Herring's behalf to modify his bail, Judge James DeLeon ruled that instead of $10,000 monetary bail, where Herring would have had to post a 10% deposit, or $1,000, he would set Herring's bail at $10,000 unsecured, meaning that Herring didn't have to post a cent to get out of jail. 

According to court records, the D.A.'s office went along with the public defender's request. "By agreement of the Commonwealth," court records say, with a pandemic on, the D.A.'s office agreed with the public defender's motion to let Herring get out of jail free, so he wouldn't be in danger of catching the virus behind bars.

Last week, Herring told police that he didn't kill Peter Gerold, a 70-year-old licensed massage therapist, but he did dismember his body. According to police, Herring told the cops that after he hacked up the victim with an electric saw and a hacksaw, he deep fried various body parts, wrapped them in plastic, and disposed of them in various dumpsters.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Krasner Strikes Again: Man In U Haul With Human Torso Was Registered Sex Offender, Accused Burglar Let Out Of Jail On No Bail

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The man riding around town yesterday in a U-Haul with a dismembered human torso in back is a registered sex offender with a long rap sheet featuring more than a dozen arrests. 

Taray Herring, 47, of Northeast Philadelphia, who confessed to police that he hacked up the victim's body but claimed he didn't kill anybody, was most recently let out of jail last June on a burglary rap, after a judge decided Herring didn't have to post any bail.

On May 9, 2020, Herring's bail for the burglary case had been set at $10,000 monetary, meaning he would have to post $1,000 to get out of jail. But on June 9, 2020, after the public defender filed a motion on Herring's behalf to modify his bail, Judge James DeLeon decided that instead of $10,000 monetary bail, he would set Herring's bail at $10,000 unsecured.

That meant that Herring didn't have to post a cent to get out of jail. And where was the D.A's office on that request? Standing up to protect the public? Nope. "By agreement of the Commonwealth," court records say, with a pandemic on, the D.A.'s office went along with the public defender's motion to spring Herring, so he wouldn't come down with COVID.