Monday, September 14, 2020

U.S. Attorney Re-Arrests Two-Time Killer Freed By D.A.

By Ralph Cipriano

The cops pulled over a guy for running a stop sign. When they ran his record, they discovered he had previously shot two men to death. And when the cops conducted a search of the driver's car, they found drugs and a gun.

John Allen Kane, a two-time convicted murderer caught with drugs and a gun, was charged with a half dozen crimes. But when it came time to prosecute the case, the district attorney's office under Progressive Larry Krasner was worried about double jeopardy. Why? Because  Kane had been previously cited in Municipal Court for the same traffic stop, and hit with a $25 traffic ticket.

I kid you not. So on May 20, 2019, the D.A.'s office under Progressive Larry Krasner made a motion to drop the charges. And Kane, a two-time convicted killer caught with drugs and a gun, walked out of court a free man. 

It was a travesty of justice previously chronicled on Dec. 7, 2019, by Big Trial, as just another part of Krasner's ongoing favors-for-fellons program. But today, U.S. Attorney William McSwain called a press conference to announce that Kane had been re-arrested by the feds and charged under a one-count indictment with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. If convicted, Kane, a twice-convicted murderer, faces a maximum prison term of 10 years.

In announcing the re-arrest of Kane, McSwain used this morning's press conference to blast District Attorney Krasner. The U.S. Attorney announced that Krasner's "radical experiment had failed," and that Krasner's office was directly responsible for "the carnage on the streets."


The Kane case was one of two cases that McSwain dealt with in a morning press conference. "Both cases are part of my office's continuing efforts to fight the tidal wave of violent crime in the city that is the unfortunate result of local criminal justice polices that coddle violent criminals," McSwain told reporters. 

"These policies create a culture of lawlessness; they leave criminals emboldened; and they have inevitable consequences – one of which is a murder rate in Philadelphia that is the highest it has been in nearly 15 years," McSwain said.

"The two indictments announced today are the latest efforts by my office to serve as a counterweight to this chaos. First, Khalif Tuggle, age 28, has been charged in a three-count indictment with carjacking, use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and murder in the course of using a firearm, all stemming from his alleged robbery, carjacking, and brutal murder of Thomas Petersen on January 24, 2017."

"Tuggle allegedly fired a shot into Mr. Petersen’s chest, dragged him out of the car, threw him on the road, robbed him, and left him for dead while Mr. Petersen was screaming in pain," McSwain said. 

"Tuggle fled the scene in Mr. Petersen’s car, and Mr. Petersen died at Temple University Hospital after two Philadelphia police officers rushed him there from the crime scene. If convicted on each count, Tuggle faces a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment."

"As for John Kane, as noted in publicly filed documents, the Philadelphia police recovered a firearm in his possession after a traffic stop and placed him under arrest," McSwain said. "As a convicted felon, Kane was prohibited from possessing any firearms."

"But he was not just any convicted felon – at the time of the traffic stop, [Kane] was on probation for committing his second homicide in Philadelphia," McSwain said. "But the District Attorney’s Office saw fit to voluntarily dismiss the charges against Kane on a technicality, and he walked free. That is, until now: Kane has been arrested on the federal charge and is in federal custody."     

McSwain then ripped into Krasner for his lax policies on prosecuting gun crimes. 

"Armed murderers cannot be permitted to walk the streets of Philadelphia in the name of criminal justice reform," McSwain said. "The staggering homicide and shooting rates in Philadelphia are proof that the District Attorney’s radical experiment has failed."

"Homicides, shootings, and serious violent crime have all skyrocketed in 2020 – from already intolerable levels that existed in 2019 and 2018," McSwain said. "There have been 316 homicides since the beginning of the year – a 32% increase as compared to this time last year. The violence has been pervasive and it is destroying the soul of the city."

"In the last month alone, 48 people have been killed and hundreds have been shot. And the average age of the shooting victims is getting younger. Tragically, the vast majority of the victims are racial minorities. I can’t say it any clearer: the District Attorney’s policies come at the expense of minority communities."

At his press conference, McSwain also detailed ten cases where he said defendants received lenient sentences from the D.A.'s office. Those defendants were charged with gun possession, drug offenses or assault, and they later went on to commit murder.

The defendants included Michael Banks, one of three men charged with the murder last month of 7-year-old Zamar Jones, and Keith Garner, sentenced last month to a minimum of 40 years for a quadruple murder.

McSwain proceeded to connect the dots from Krasner's insane policies and our rapidly escalating murder rate, a logical conclusion that for years has eluded our Sad Sack of a mayor, his hand-picked police commissioner who's presently voluntarily "collaborating" with the D.A., and the geniuses at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"We can draw a straight line from these [Krasner] policies to the carnage on the streets," McSwain said. "My office has examined the circumstances underlying many of the recent murder cases in the city and the inescapable conclusion is that a great number of these murders were made possible by the District Attorney’s Office’s willingness indeed, its eagernessto offer sweetheart plea deals to violent defendants. Deals that allowed those defendants to quickly get back out on the street and kill."

The italics are mine. Finally, somebody said it. And not just anybody, but the highest-ranking law enforcement official in Philadelphia, the U.S. Attorney.

The rap sheet for Kane, 53, formerly of Southwest Philadelphia, is detailed in old police records.

At 10:03 p.m. on Dec. 26, 1989, the 23rd Police District in North Philadelphia responded to a call: "hospital case/shooting, 1609 W. Stiles Street. Upon arrival, they observed the deceased sitting on the steps . . . with multiple gunshot wounds. The deceased was transported by Rescue 13-M where he was pronounced at 12:10 a.m. by Dr. Mehta."

The dead man was David Ebron, a 30-year-old black man shot with a .22 revolver. At a 1991 trial Kane was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and possession of instruments of crime. The sentence on the manslaughter charge was a minimum of 60 months to a maximum of ten years.

After he got out of jail a decade later, Kane killed another man in the same neighborhood.

On approximately 7:11 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2001, police from the 23rd District in North Philly "responded to a radio call for a shooting and hospital case at 1600 Master Street. Upon arrival, officers found the victim Robert Williams, 33, a black male, lying on the highway and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to Hahneman Hospital via fire rescue Unit 13 where he was subsequently pronounced dead of his injuries at 7:34 p.m. by Dr. Davenport."

Dead was Robert Williams, 33, a black man shot in the chest with a .380 handgun.

"Investigation revealed that the victim was involved in a fight with another black male and that during the fight, the second male produced a handgun and shot the victim three times," police records state.

Kane was found guilty in 2002 of murder, carrying unlicensed firearms and possession of an instrument of crime. The sentence on the murder rap was a prison term of 10 to 20 years.

After he did his time, on Jan. 18, 2018,  Kane was pulled over for running a stop sign. After a search, the cops arrested the 5-foot-4, 195-pound Kane on six criminal charges, including possession of firearms, a first-degree felony; carrying unlicensed firearms, a third-degree felony; use/possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor; carrying firearms in public, a misdemeanor; possession of a controlled substance, another misdemeanor; and manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, a felony.

Bail was set at $500,000; three months later, it was lowered to $100,000.

And then the D.A.'s office dropped the charges and set Kane free. 

But a year later, thanks to the feds, an armed and dangerous two-time convicted killer is back where he belongs, in jail. And finally, some sanity has returned to law enforcement. 

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