Monday, March 16, 2020

Secretive Judge Postpones 'Billy Doe' Show Trial Until Next Year

By Ralph Cipriano

According to an order issued by Judge Gwendolyn Bright, the lying, scheming former altar boy known as "Billy Doe" was supposed to show up this morning under subpoena in Courtroom 807 of the Criminal Justice Center.

But Billy Doe, AKA Danny Gallagher, didn't show, and once again, he got a pass. So did his official enablers, the prosecutors who work for corrupt District Attorney Larry Krasner.

You have to hand it to Gallagher, who has to be the luckiest dirtbag in the universe. He sure picked the right day not to honor a subpoena. A day like today, when all potential jurors were sent home and officials announced because of the coronavirus, the local courts are being shut down until at least April 1st.

The case really is a joke at this point. Our corrupt district attorney's office, faced with a star witness that even they know is a fraud, is attempting to retry Msgr. William J. Lynn on one count of endangering the welfare of a child without putting the alleged victim  on the witness stand.

In response to howls from the defense table, the judge issued her order requiring Gallagher to be in the courtroom under subpoena during the trial. But Patrick Blessington, the lead prosecutor in the case, has repeatedly told the judge that he doesn't intend to call Gallagher as a witness.

Blessington's excuse is that he has claimed that D.A. Krasner has an enlightened new policy where he doesn't want to re-traumatize victims by requiring them to testify in court.

So what does it matter if Gallagher's in the courtroom if he's not going to speak? They might as well bring along a stuffed horse as an exhibit. Or, to ensure a more perfect match, only the rear end of the horse would be necessary.

It's the definition of a show trial. Especially since Lynn, who was convicted originally in 2012, and then had his sentence overturned twice on appeal, has already served his time -- 33 months out of his original 36 month sentence, plus 18 months of house arrest.

To make more matters more absurd, the judge has imposed a gag order on all the lawyers in the case, so they don't talk to the media. It's a layer of secrecy totally unnecessary in a notorious 10-year-old case that got worldwide publicity the first time it was tried, and all the relevant facts are known.

The judge has also required lawyers on both sides to file all their briefs and motions under seal, so the media and public can't see them.

In accordance with her tradition of keeping everything a secret, the judge this morning summoned lawyers on both sides to meet her in the backroom, so reporters waiting outside would not be able to witness what transpired.

Was there a confrontation over Gallagher not showing up in the courtroom, as required by the judge's order? We don't know because whatever happened went down in secret in the back room. And after it was over, none of the lawyers could talk about it.

All we know is that Gallagher was required by the judge's order to show up under subpoena, and he didn't show. But whatever went down because of it is unknown.

To top off this travesty, the prosecutors are doing everything they can think of to drag out what should be a two-day trial and make it into a boring spectacle that the lead prosecutor claims will take three weeks to put on.

What the prosecution is trying to do, according to Mark Kasten, a defense lawyer for Msgr. Lynn, is a lot of "shoveling paper," by having detective James Dougherty read one file after another to the jury.

The D.A. is afraid to put Gallagher on the stand. So instead, as Kasten told the judge, the "Commonwealth is trying to make its case with mountains of paper."

Today's capper happened when the judge was trying to fit a bloated three-week trial into her tight schedule.

It tuns out the next available court date for a trial that last three weeks -- drum roll, please -- is not until Jan. 4, 2021.

How's that for dragging out a show trial?

It's really beyond a travesty at this point. This is a prosecution that, as I have documented on this blog, is sponsored by Let 'Em Loose Larry Krasner. A guy who has to date let the following criminals  get off scot-free:

-- A two time killer who was caught on a routine traffic stop with guns and drugs.

-- A stoned pharmacist caught with $30,000 worth of Xanax.

-- A career burglar, who watched as the D.A. made 27 new cases of burglary and 184 new charges filed against him disappear.

-- The son of Krasner's former corrupt supervisor, Movita Johnson-Harrell, who went to see the mother of his son at her workplace, lured her outside under false pretenses, shoved her around, and then punched her in the face, drawing blood.

-- Hassan Elliott, an armed drug dealer who got caught with guns again, and was the subject of a search warrant this past Friday in Frankford that resulted in a shoot out, which resulted in the murder of Cpl. James O'Connor IV.

All of these criminals were either given a pass or let out of jail by Krasner. But he won't give a pass to a Catholic priest who was the victim of false testimony from a fraudulent witness -- Danny Gallagher --- and has already served his time.

To finish off this mess, Judge Bright sent a deadline of May 28 for the lawyers on both sides of the case to file more motions under seal, motions that the press and public will never see.

So the press and public have no idea of what's going on.

As Msgr. Lynn and his frustrated legal team left the court, it would have been nice if reporters could have asked them what happened in the back room. And get their reaction to the latest travesty.

But hey, the judge has a gag order up so nobody can talk.

As the 69-year-old monsignor was walking out of court, he was overheard telling friends that he wondered if he would still be alive when the retrial finally rolls around.

If it ever actually happens.

See you next year.


  1. Good reporting - once again - Ralph.

    I would think that Gallagher's refusal to honor the subpoena (just like his brother did in the Engelhardt / Shero trial - must be a family trait) would be more than enough for Bright to dismiss the case - forthwith.

    For all we know, perhaps Bright told the persecution that she planned to do just that and asked for briefs stating precedent to that point.

    Maybe ultra cautious Bright wants to be absolutely certain that she will be on firm legal ground in dumping this case as - like Ceisler - she may have further legal ambitions.


    maybe they offered Monsignor some kind of a 'sweet deal' to plead 'no contest' with no additional time to be served.

    PS - thanks for all the material on Krasner. His actions are beneath contempt.

    It's anyone's guess at this point.

    1. Nobody wants Bright for any high office on the legal system. She be is going nowhere And it is critically important that fast action be taken to remove her from the bench, even put her under the care of a psychiatrist as she has deep inner emotional problems compounded by anger issues.

    2. You can be sure of one thing; Lynn isn't taking any deals.

  2. Why honor Judge Bright's gag order if she is not fit to sit on the bench? Time to petition for her immediate removal from the bench as there is plenty of incriminating filings of bench material to find fault with Bright's handling of the case in a racist way toward Monsignor Lynn.If I were Bergstrom, I would violate Bright's gag order in order to spill the beans on her callous handling of the case to the Bar Disciplinary committee and make them investigate Bright's handling of the case. Bright wants to help the vultures flying over Lynn's exhausted body.

  3. Ralph, thank you for the update. I feel terrible that Msgr. Lynn is being subjected to more of this nonsense. On what grounds does the judge seal the motions? Because she can I guess? Hopefully she comes around and totally dismisses the case once and for all. A travesty.

  4. Ralph: Have you (or any other reporters) attempted to intervene and file a First Amendment free press/public trial motion objecting to the excessive secrecy?

  5. Hi Peter. It's kind of a sad story. Since this case was tried way back in 2012, and a companion sex abuse trial in 2013, I am the only reporter that I know of who has written anything about this travesty of a case.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer, and most local media outlets, have completely ignored this case. Which is why the judge has gotten away with her nonsensical gag order, and requirement that all motions be filed under seal.

    In the past four years, I have written about this case on this blog as a volunteer activity. If there is some First Amendment lawyer out there who would like to undertake a pro bono activity to take away the totally unnecessary secrecy in this case, they would be more than welcome. And I would do anything I could to assist them.

    1. Partnering with the prosecution is why the Inquirer can not print what takes place in a courtroom, when the case unfolds and it does not match what the Inky has printed, provided by the prosecution, it makes it impossible for the Inky to print the true facts .

      Working for and with the prosecution should be illegal for a news outlet. Its not their job to take the prosecutions case and assure the readers that they swear this evidence is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Because that is what readers believe, they believe they are reading the truth.

      To think that none of the Inky reporters are able to tell the public what really transpires in a courtroom either they do not care or are prevented from doing so. This leads to their colleagues believe lies as well and taking those lies and creating more lies.

      It really is a conspiracy to condemn a defendant because the Inky believes defendants are guilty.How did they set themselves up to be the judge and the jury. I want the facts not the Inkys facts, the true facts as they unfold, I want victims to have a voice, not to be shut out by reporters who are working for the prosecution.

  6. This Judge has been called out by liberal billionaire advocates for the notorious thug rapper Meek Mill and backed down from her questionable rulings in his case before her Court.

    An intervention by a well heeled Knight of the Church and believer in Civil Liberty would send this Judge scurrying with the rest of the rats in City Hall.

  7. If Bright can't or won't do her job, she needs to be removed from the bench immediately instead of being mollycoddled to stay on the job due to the fear of racism against her thrown to blunt her removal.

  8. You realize this is a Philadelphia judge we're talking about? Here in a Democratic stronghold of identity politics?

    1. Which means the Presidrnt Judge is totally impotent in handling discipline to a judge like Bright be who has pervented the rules governing judicial conduct. If she can be protected by both the Democrat party and black agitators, then we have a failing judicial system in Philadelphia.

    2. You mentioned the President Judge - Sheila Woods-Skipper.

      I had occasion to write to her when she was first appointed President Judge. I asked her to intercede in getting Judge Ceisler to provide the case record needed for the Shero / Engelhardt appeal. In the letter, I attached a file showing the status of each of Ceisler's cases, and it appeared that Ceisler was churning out more recent cases while letting the Shero / Engelhardt results hang in limbo.

      I also mentioned how Sarmina was 'compelled' (i.e....legally bludgeoned) by the Superior Court to provide Monsignor's Lynns' case file - not once, but twice, no less. Close to a six month delay.

      Judge Woods-Skipper sent me a nice reply letter in the US mail, thanked me for bringing this to her attention, copying Sarmina and Ceisler and the attorneys of record. One week later, Ceisler provided the overdue material.

      Was this the result of my letter? I'd like to believe it was, but I doubt it. Ceisler (or more likely - her paralegal staffers) may have been concurrently working on her 'opinion'. Dunno. But, at least the President Judge was made aware of this inexplicable delay.

      Lynn's lawyers (and others following this blog) may want to appeal to the President Judge, as well.

      Considering the fact that the Philadelphia Criminal Court System has now been effectively stalled, many other cases will have to be rescheduled - the domino effect.

      So, what would be that harm in slotting the Lynn case up front which was where it was until Bright stopped the clock by asking for super-secret briefs.

      No matter how you slice it, Justice Delayed is.....Justice Denied.

  9. Why is everything secret? Is Judge Bright unable to take criticism or scrutiny, is she afraid she will have to answer for her actions ?

  10. Updates on that case which reeks of double Jeopardy that any dog could smell from miles away!


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