Thursday, March 31, 2016

Northeast Times Outs Billy

Uh oh. Now my old neighbors know I'm a fraud!

"His real name is Daniel. He's a 27-year-old multimillionaire living in Florida. And his chronically evolving, apparently contradictory recollections of his own childhood sexual abuse formed the foundation of a criminal case that sent two priests and a lay teacher from the Northeast's St. Jerome's Parish, as well as a monsignor, to jail."

That's the opening of the Northeast Times story today that outs "Billy Doe," Philadelphia's famous rape-prone altar boy. In doing so, the Northeast Times joins Newsweek, the National Catholic Reporter, and of course, Big Trial. The rest of the Northeast Times story can be read here.

[Note to The Philadelphia Inquirer: This is how you cover news.]

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what's
going on in the courts.

By Shealyn Kilroy

 District Attorney of Philadelphia:

Daniel Dougherty
Seventeen years ago, Daniel Dougherty was sentenced to death for setting his home on fire that killed his 3-year-old and 4-year-old sons in 1985. On March 21, a retrial of the case began after Dougherty, 56, won his appeal. Dougherty has proclaimed his innocence since his estranged wife Adrienne Sussman came to authorities 14 years after the fire insisting he had admitted to arson. In his past testimony, Dougherty denied deliberately setting fires and claimed he was the failed hero that could not save his sons’ lives. But since the original trial, two arson investigators have reexamined the evidence and found no conclusive indicators of arson, according to CNN.'s Jeff Gammage covered the trial on March 23. Gammage reported that Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy insisted that there's no doubt that Dougherty intentionally set the fire. Defense lawyer David Fryman stated that if Dougherty was truly guilty of this crime, it would have surfaced before Sussman came to police. Sussman did not testify at the original trial. She, along with Dougherty's trial lawyer Thomas Ciccone, and other witnesses are deceased.


Big Trial On WIP

The story of what went down between "Shady" McCoy and a trio of off-duty cops at the Recess Lounge has largely played out on WIP, the city's sports talk radio station.

While The Philadelphia Inquirer has basically ignored the story, WIP Morning Host Angelo Cataldi has led the way, getting key interviews with FOP President John ["Hang 'em high"] McNesby and District Attorney Seth ["We're still investigating"] Williams, our bumbling, ethically challenged fraud of a district attorney.

Big Trial has played a key part in WIP's Shady coverage, beginning with this story that led to this appearance on the Feb. 22 WIP Morning Show and continuing with this update  on March 23rd. [Scroll down on the page to March 23rd to hear the replay].

Cataldi used Big Trial's reporting and appearance on his show this week to flush out McNesby, and this time the heavyweight FOP prez was singing a different tune. By the end of the week, Cataldi was still lobbying to get D.A. Williams to come back on the show and explain why his office has taken seven weeks to investigate a ten-minute bar fight.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Shady Bar Fight: What's Taking So Long?

Seth's ADAs hard at work?
By Ralph Cipriano

It's taken more than six weeks for the district attorney's office to investigate a 10-minute bar fight.

And they're not done yet. We still have no idea what the D.A. ultimately will do about LeSean "Shady" McCoy, the former Eagles and current Buffalo Bills star running back who got involved in a Feb. 7th fracas at the Recess Lounge.

It ain't Watergate that the D.A. is investigating. After six weeks, you have to wonder what's taking so long.

For the past several weeks the rumor mill has it that prosecutors realize the case has so many problems they won't be able to charge anybody. The bar fight has been described as a can of worms that the D.A. doesn't want to open. Supposedly, the D.A.'s office was going to call a press conference in the near future to explain why Shady and friends will walk.

But Cameron Kline, the D.A.'s spokesman, shot that down. "I can say the office is continuing to investigate and no press conference is being scheduled," Kline said today.

Considering the facts of the case, a couple of prominent criminal defense lawyers who prefer not to be identified predict that the D.A. won't be able to prosecute anybody. But Seth Williams does have a political problem on his hands. Two off-duty cops were seriously injured in the fight and our hang-em-high mayor and FOP president have already called for arresting Shady and his pals. That's what appears to be taking so long: our publicity hound of a D.A. is still trying to figure out how to explain no arrests without taking a political hit.


Msgr. Lynn's Lawyers: D.A. "Breathtakingly Dishonest"

By Ralph Cipriano

It was supposed to be a sober exchange of appeal briefs. But the battle now before the state Supreme Court over the fate of Msgr. William J. Lynn has turned into a legal brawl.

Lynn is the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, who was convicted in 2012 on one count of endangering the welfare of a child, namely Danny Gallagher, the "lying, scheming" former altar boy also known as "Billy Doe."

In December, the state Superior Court, for the second time in three years, overturned Lynn's conviction, and ordered a new trial. Lynn, serving a three  to six year prison term, has remained in jail, pending an appeal by District Attorney Seth Williams to the state Supreme Court.

The first time the state Superior Court reversed Lynn's sentence, in December 2013, the D.A. appealed to the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Lynn got out jail on house arrest. In April 2015, the state Supreme Court ruled in the D.A.'s favor, and Lynn was sent back to jail, where he remains. So the D.A. is hoping that lighting strikes twice.

But Thomas A. Bergstrom and David A. Schumacher, Lynn's lawyers, have broken out the brass knuckles. In a 15-page appeal brief filed today, the defense lawyers stated that the D.A.'s appeal brief to the state Supreme Court contains "statements and allegations that are breathtakingly dishonest." Also, the "level of unprofessionalism" exhibited by the D.A.'s petition is so "alarming" that it appears the only objective is to "drive this [Supreme] Court to a decision grounded in emotion," the defense lawyers wrote.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what's
going on in the courts.

By Shealyn Kilroy

Philadelphia District Attorney:

Joyce Levitt
Joyce Levitt is charged with theft, fraud, and related charges for embezzled $200,000 from Visit Philadelphia after she turned herself in on March 16, the District Attorney’s office announced. Levitt, 61, had been overseeing the finances for seven years of Chief Financial Officer of Visit Philadelphia, a tourism agency that promotes travel in and around the city. VP receives 18 percent of hotel tax, so Levitt stole taxpayer dollars. Philadelphia taxpayers, want to know where your money was going? You were funding Levitt’s skin treatments, quenching her palette at high-end restaurant meals, taking her shopping at BJ’s and Costco and keeping her warm with fur from New York. The investigation began in August 2014. A date for a preliminary hearing not yet been scheduled.
Friday, March 18, 2016

How To Collect $5 Million From The Archdiocese Of Philadelphia

Ready For Your Close-Up Mr. Gallagher?
By Ralph Cipriano

He shaved his wispy beard.

He wore a suit and tie.

And he was pretty damn forgetful.

During a deposition in his civil case against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as first disclosed on, Daniel Gallagher, AKA Billy Doe, the amazingly rape-prone altar boy, claimed he couldn't remember more than 130 times.

Gallagher's two full days of depositions were conducted on May 30, 2014, and June 20, 2014. The event was attended by a dozen lawyers and a videographer. The official transcript ran 572 pages, and, thanks to a deal between the archdiocese and Billy's lawyers, it was supposed to remain secret. The transcript has "Confidential" stamped on the top of every page.

One witness at the confidential deposition said it was obvious to everybody in the room that Gallagher was "a professional liar." Another witness went a step further, describing the plaintiff as "a fucking liar." But it didn't hurt Gallagher on his way to the bank. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput settled the case last August, a month before the Pope came to town, by paying Gallagher $5 million. Oh, they didn't want that disclosed either.

That's quite a payday for a guy who testified that he makes $11 an hour working for his grandfather's landscaping business down in Florida. At his deposition, Gallagher stated he put in "anywhere from 50 to 60 hours a week" working for Grandpop, earning "between 500 and $600 a week," or $20,000 a year.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Judge Denies Lighter Sentence For Kathryn Knott

Courtesy of
By Shealyn Kilroy

Kathryn Knott's gay bashing may have created a ripple effect throughout the city, but this morning, her sentence still remained.

Judge Roxanne Covington denied a motion for Knott to receive a lighter sentence than the 5 to 10 months she originally got for her role in the Sept. 2014 beating of a gay couple in Center City.

"As injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, hatred toward any group is no different than hatred toward all of us," Covington said at the conclusion of court with her soft voice. "Every single one of us has a right to be who we are, to love who we want and to walk down the street and enjoy the city safely, without fear of ridicule, of torture, of attack."

Friday, March 11, 2016

Billy Doe Under Oath: "I Don't Remember . . . I Really Don't Remember . . . I Honestly Don't Remember"

Newsweek discloses that during his civil deposition Billy Doe said he couldn't remember more than 130 times. Meanwhile, Bernard Shero hires a new lawyer to get out of jail. And Msgr. William J. Lynn decides he'd rather stay in jail than take a plea bargain from the D.A.

Story can be read here.

The Roundup

Edward A. Kirby (left) and Edward R. Kirby (right)
A weekly tab of what's
going on in the courts.

By Shealyn Kilroy


Philadelphia District Attorney: 
Father and son duo Edward R. Kirby, 59, and Edward A. Kirby, 34, are being charged for the death of Edward R.’s brother George Kirby, 66, after a Grand Jury investigation, the District Attorney’s office announced on March 10. George, who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and was on an oxygen tank 24 hours a day, was being taken care of by his 84-year-old aunt at his home in Frankford. Edward R. had a history drug abuse. Edward A. fraudulently obtained ten life insurance policies as George so he could collect more than $100,000 in benefits. After a phone call with his uncle that he thought he ended, George’s son Nicholas Kirby overheard a conversation between his cousin and uncle about plans to kill his father:

“Go down there and kill him. Make it look like an accident. Just put a pillow over him and smother him,” said Edward A.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Galati And Son Take Another Hit

By George Anastasia

More bad news for Ron Galati, the South Philadelphia autobody shop owner with the Godfather complex.

The Philadelphia District Office announced this morning that it has expanded the insurance fraud charges against Galati and two of his co-defendants, his son Ron Jr. and Robert Otterson.

The new charges include allegations that the three set up a scheme that steered repair work on Philadelphia Police Department and other city vehicles to Galati's autobody shop where charges were inflated and repair work exaggerated. The DA alleges that the scheme netted the trio $400,000 in illegal funds.

Galati, his son and Otterson are among a group of defendants scheduled for trial in September. An original indictment alleged a $5 million insurance fraud scheme and included charges that Galati Sr. had hired two hitmen to kill two rival autobody shop operators who were cooperating in a grand jury investigation.

Galati, 65, is already serving a lengthy federal sentence following his conviction on charges that he hired the same two hitmen to murder his then estranged daughter's boyfriend. The boyfriend survived the shooting and the hitmen became cooperating witnesses.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Roundup

Steven Montgomery
A weekly tab of what's
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.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Steve D'Aguanno, Dedicated Federal Prosecutor

By George Anastasia

Steven D'Aguanno, a hard-driving federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, died this week.


The details are not important.

His passing is.

Born and raised in South Philadelphia, D'Aguanno, 48, fashioned a 21-year career as an attorney by building cases against organized crime figures, first with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

In many ways, it was personal.