Wednesday, January 20, 2021

At Two Bail Hearings, Two ADAs Laid Down And Future Killer Walked

By Ralph Cipriano

Two days before Christmas, in Courtroom 903 of the Criminal Justice Center, the Honorable Teresa Carr Deni was on the bench, overseeing a bail hearing for Josephus Davis.

Representing Davis, a two-time convicted robber, was criminal defense lawyer James Lloyd. Representing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was Assistant District Attorney Martin McLemore.

On this day, Davis was facing 11 charges for a new crime, an alleged armed carjacking. The new charges against Davis included: robbery with intent to inflict serious bodily injury, robbery of a motor vehicle, kidnapping for ransom, conspiracy, false imprisonment, firearms not to be carried without a license, carrying firearms in public, theft, receiving stolen property, possession of an instrument of crime, and unauthorized use of motor vehicles. 

Bail had been set at $100,000, but Davis's lawyer was arguing for a reduction.

"His bail is extraordinarily high," Lloyd told the judge. "His mother resides in the city . . . He can reside with her. I have good contact with his mother."

Lloyd mentioned that in another case, Davis was accused of an alleged aggravated assault on a prison guard. And at a previous bail hearing, on Oct. 21, 2020, another judge had dropped Davis's bail in the aggravated assault case from $200,000 down to $12,000. 

The bail reduction meant that in the aggravated assault case, Davis, who was still in custody, would only have to pay 10%, or $1,200, to get out of jail. But Davis wasn't going anywhere until Judge Deni set bail in the carjacking case.

"I would ask for something within the guidelines in this case as well," Lloyd said, adding that his client had been in jail since Feb. 20, 2020. "It will almost be a year when he gets to his preliminary" hearing, Lloyd told the judge, about a preliminary hearing in the kidnapping case scheduled for Feb. 2nd.

The only person standing between Davis and the door to freedom was Assistant District Attorney McLemore. But McLemore was just a rookie, one of 60 new prosecutors hired by District Attorney Larry Krasner in 2019. 

When he stood to represent the Commonwealth, McLemore briefly reviewed Davis's criminal record; a simple assault adjudication in 2015, when the defendant was 14 years old, the equivalent of a guilty verdict. 

McLemore noted a 2019 robbery conviction, a second-degree felony, but he forgot to mention, or just didn't know that Davis had a second robbery conviction. McLemore also brought up the open aggravated assault case. Lastly, he mentioned that in 2019, the defendant had failed to appear in court, which should have made Davis a flight risk. 

But at the bail hearing in front of Judge Deni, McLemore the rookie prosecutor was working for a boss who had campaigned on a promise to end cash bail. 

So, keeping Davis in jail with the original allegedly high $100,000 bail imposed in the carjacking case was hardly a priority in the D.A.'s office headed by noted criminal justice reformer Larry Krasner. 

"At this time, I would object to a reduction," McLemore said.

Nine words, and that was all the defender of the Commonwealth would have to say for the rest of the hearing.

"OK, well he's practically serving the sentence," the judge said. "And the guidelines are what?"

"I believe three to 12,000," Lloyd said, talking about proposed dollar amounts for bail. "But, again, I will defer if the D.A. has different information. It looks like three to 12 on my paperwork."

With public safety at risk, however, Assistant District Attorney McLemore remained silent.

Hearing no further objections, the judge was ready to impose bail.

"Twenty thousand, 10%," the judge said. The bail reduction meant that instead of having to post a 10% deposit on $100,000 bail, or $10,000; on $20,000 bail, Davis would only have to post $2,000 to get out of jail.

"Thank you very much, Your Honor," Lloyd said. "That concludes my business, if I may be excused. Have a good holiday."

"Have a great one yourself," the judge said.

Six days later, on Dec. 29, 2020, family members posted a total of $3,200 in bail and Davis walked.

Fifteen days later, shortly before 7 p.m. on Jan. 13th, Davis and an accomplice allegedly held up Milan Loncar, who was out walking his dog, Roo,  a block from his house on Jefferson Street, near 31st Street in Brewerytown. 

During the robbery, Loncar tried to push Davis's gun away. But Josephus pulled the trigger, and shot Loncar in the upper chest, a crime caught on surveillance video. Loncar collapsed on the sidewalk as Roo ran to his side. 

Thirty minutes later, the 25-year-old recent Temple University graduate who was planning to move in with his girlfriend next month was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital.

Davis was arrested about two hours after the murder. He was driving a Ford Focus that had been stolen the day before in another carjacking, police said. Davis was also wearing the same clothes he wore in the surveillance video when he allegedly shot Loncar.

It took two bail hearings to let Josephus out of jail.

At the first bail hearing, on Oct. 21st, before Judge Charles Hayden, again in Courtroom 903, the D.A.'s office was represented by Assistant District Attorney Caroline Jamieson, another rookie hired by Krasner in 2019. Ryan Ivans was the counsel for Davis in the case of the alleged aggravated assault of a prison guard by Josephus while he was still in custody.

When the judge asked if Ivans if any detainer had been filed, which would have kept Davis in jail without bail, the defense lawyer replied, "He does not have any detainers, Your Honor."

A more experienced prosecutor might have stood up at that moment and said, hey judge, in this case we need a detainer. But Krasner had sent a rookie to the bail hearing, and Jamieson said nothing.

When the judge asked Jamieson what was her position on lower bail for Davis, she replied, "Due to the other open cases I would object to bail."

Way to stand up for public safety, Ms. Prosecutor. 

While Ivans contended that the alleged aggravated assault consisted of Davis allegedly spraying orange juice on a prison guard, Jamieson said, "Well, according to our police report, they believe it was bodily fluids." She added, "I don't have information about it being juice." 

When the judge asked about the carjacking case, and whether Davis was on bail in that case, Jamieson replied, "I believe so, Your Honor."

Hearing no strenuous objections, the judge then reduced the bail for Davis in the aggravated assault case from $200,000 down to $12,000. And Josephus was on his way to freedom, and a more serious crime.

The murder of 25 year-old Milan Loncar has turned out to be a political problem for District Attorney Krasner, who, armed with a bulging war chest from billionaires such as George Soros, was previously cruising to reelection in the upcoming May 18th Democratic primary.

As D.A., Krasner has been a showboat, always interjecting himself into the limelight. 

For example, whenever a cop is shot, Krasner is notorious for showing up at hospitals, where he's not wanted, in search of TV cameras. When Corporal James O'Connor was fatally shot by an armed drug dealer that Krasner let out of prison, police famously locked arms and wouldn't let Krasner inside the hospital to visit the dying officer's family.

When six cops were shot and wounded by a would-be mass killer wielding an AR-15, Krasner showed up while bullets were still flying, and interjected himself into the hostage negotiations. The D.A. wound up making himself a witness in the case, by falsely promising a light sentence to the shooter.

During the George Floyd and Walter Wallace Jr. riots, whenever he could indict a cop, Krasner was in front of the TV cameras, offering up hasty judgments and faulty facts to condemn police officers, as in the recent case of former Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna, who just beat all of the false charges Krasner had filed against him.

But when it came to yesterday's press conference at the D.A.'s office to discuss the murder of the dog walker, Krasner took the coward's way out and sent a subordinate to face the TV cameras.

In Krasner's absence, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told reporters that "The D.A. has been looking into it all weekend long and I'm sure that many balls were dropped in this case."

Finally, some straight talk at a D.A.'s press conference. For reporters used to listening to Krasner's propaganda and fairy tales, it must have been a revelation.

"His bail should have not been lowered," Pescatore said. "It was lowered to an extremely low level, to such a level that he [Josephus] could make that bail."

"We are looking into the fact of whether we filed an appeal," Pescatore said. "We did object at that time that bail was lowered in both of those cases."

The murder of the dog walker also posed a political problem for Krasner's main enablers, his fellow Progressives at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Inky, which for the last few years has consistently turned a blind eye to the deadly corruption in Krasner's office, as well as a deaf ear to his critics, predictably wound up chasing Big Trial's coverage of the dog walker's murder. 

When Carlos Vega, a career homicide prosecutor who is Krasner's only opponent in the May 18th Democratic primary, blamed Krasner for the murder of the dog walker, the Inquirer censored Vega, and wouldn't print his critical remarks. Instead, they only printed what Krasner and Jane Roh, his official spokesperson, had to say.

But yesterday, while the heat was on Krasner, the newspaper briefly reversed course, acknowledged Krasner's critics, and suddenly realized there was an ongoing primary campaign for D.A.

"The case has quickly become contentious and political, with many who have criticized District Attorney Larry Krasner as too lenient — including the police union, some police officials, and Krasner’s opponent in May’s primary election, Carlos Vega — blasting the DA for his handling of Josephus’ cases," the newspaper reported.

In an interview today, Vega, who was an eminently successful homicide prosecutor for 30 years, reviewed the woeful history of Krasner's prosecution of Davis, and all the various balls that were dropped.

It's a lengthy list.

Davis committed his first robbery on Jan. 9, 2019, Vega said. His bail was set at $20,000, meaning he had to put down a 10% deposit of $2,000 to get out of jail. Out on bail less than 30 days later, Davis committed a second robbery. He would ultimately be convicted for both robberies. He was sentenced for six to 12 months in jail and two years probation for each robbery, with both sentences to be served concurrently, rather than consecutively.

In the first robbery, "The case is listed four times," Vega said. "Four times the victim comes to court," but four times the D.A. isn't ready to try the case. The case was finally tried on the fifth listing.

When it came time to set bail for the second robbery, court records show, on Oct. 2, 2019, bail was set at $25,000 monetary, meaning Davis would have to pay a 10% deposit, or $2,500, to get out of jail. But on Oct. 8, 2019, a third Krasner hire, Assistant District Attorney Dana Bazelon, agreed to a reduction to $25,000 unsecured bail, meaning Davis wouldn't have to put down a cent to get out of jail.

Bazelon, hired by Krasner in 2018 as a top aide, is notorious for her arrest last May 12th for child endangerment, after she left her four-year-old daughter unattended in a locked car.

While Davis was on bail for the first robbery, he not only committed a second robbery, Vega said, but he also committed the armed carjacking. All three crimes were committed before the pandemic.

As far as the two bail reductions given Davis, Vega said, he reviewed the court records, and no appeal was ever taken by the D.A.'s office in either case. 

Someone should tell Assistant District Attorney Pescatore, who at yesterday's press conference, said the D.A.'s office was still investigating whether they filed an appeal in either of the two bail reductions awarded Davis.

That's how incompetent the D.A.'s office is under Krasner, who once bragged to the New York Times about being "a public defender with power." The D.A.'s office under Krasner can't even check their own records to see if they filed an appeal in one of their own cases.

In addition, Vega said, the D.A.'s office should have pressed for a detainer when Davis violated his parole by the alleged assault of the prison guard. A detainer would have kept Davis in jail without bail. And, as a result, Vega said, Milan Loncar would still be alive.

When Krasner took office, his first official action was to fire 31 veteran prosecutors. He explained his drastic action by saying, "The coach gets to pick the team."

So Krasner went out and personally recruited and hired 60 rookie prosecutors, including Assistant District Attorneys Bazelon, Jamieson, and McLemore. Twenty one of those new hires promptly flunked the bar exam.

"He picked a helluva team," Vega said. "All three of these individuals are Krasner hires. It shows severe incompetence, a lack of training, a lack of caring for keeping our community safe, in taking no appeal, or filing no detainer, and there are absolutely no consequences."

Davis should have been held in custody, but his prosecution "went through the hands of three of his [Krasner's] ADAs and as a result a murder occurred," Vega said.
"It's like going to three different hospitals and they don't diagnose that you've got a broken leg," Vega said about the D.A.'s version of Larry, Moe and Curly. "Three DAs couldn't figure out the answer."

At the bail hearing over the alleged assault, Vega said, the judge repeatedly asked ADA Jamieson for facts that she should have volunteered without the judge ever having to ask. Facts about the crime and the criminal history of the perpetrator, facts that might have resulted in the judge turning down any reduction in bail.

But instead, Jamieson came up lame, and so did McLemore. As a result, Davis was back on the street, and two weeks later, he's charged with the brutal murder of an innocent man who was out walking his dog just a block from his home.

When an office screws up like this, Vega said, "You have to take ownership."

The coach of a losing football team always has to come out after the game's over, face the media and take the heat. 

Instead, Vega noted, Larry Krasner's "in hiding."

Asked what he would have told Judge Deni at the second bail hearing on the carjacking, Vega said, "This guy has a juvenile record. He failed to appear on his first robbery. While on bail he committed a second robbery. While on bail he committed a carjacking and kidnapping. And while in custody he attacked a prison guard!"

In view of that record, Vega said he would have told the judge, "We cannot agree to any bail reduction because he [Davis] has shown time and time again that he is a danger to society. While on the street he continues to commit crimes. And not only that, but while in custody he continues to commit crimes."

"Judge, we can't let this person out. He's too dangerous; he can't help himself."

But instead of explaining the facts and answering any questions, Krasner's in hiding. And the only question remaining is, will the local media, led by the relentlessly progressive Inquirer, continue to let Krasner get away with it.

"He [Krasner] owes it to the public," Vega said. He needs to come out of hiding, explain "the negligence of his office, and how he's going to stop it from happening again."

Here's how to stop another senseless murder from happening again, because Larry Krasner just let another armed and dangerous criminal out of jail, to menace the public.

On May 18th, vote Carlos Vega for D.A. And send Larry Krasner back to being a public defender without power. 

EDITOR'S NOTE -- The suspect's name in this case was misidentified as Davis L. Josephus on 16 court dockets and summaries posted online. But police and other officials have confirmed that a police officer initially made a mistake on a police report, and transposed the suspect's first and last names. His real name, authorities say, is Josephus Davis.


  1. It would seem to me that any new lawyer in Krasner's office right now should jump ship before they completely ruin their legal careers. The new lawyers need supervision, which they are not getting, who would ever hire these people, no guidance, no common sense and obviously not learning from their mistakes.

  2. I clicked onto the link "reversed course" provided by Ralph and landed on the local anti-American propaganda rag, the Inquirer. Skimmed through the article and I'm having deja-vu. Man, haven't I read this stuff before? Then, it dawns on me. They've actually plagiarized Ralph's previous submission! The balls on these jerk-offs! And, to boot, they've got three "reporters" on the header taking credit! Who the fuck would pay to read this shit? Seriously. Thanks, Ralph.

  3. Let's hope Carlos Vega kicks Krasner's ass in the spring primary. I wish I could be optimistic. Philadelphia voters have to ask themselves how much more of this lethal nonsense they are willing to tolerate. How many dead bodies will be enough to effect the proper change ?

  4. In the 2017 Philadelphia District Attorney Democrat Primary Election, Larry Krasner beat six (6) other DA candidates, racking up 38.19 percent of the total votes! Larry Krasner is going to win the 2021 Primary on May 18th. Mark my words!

    1. Krasner, or Soros? Seriously, you may be right but the fact is that Krasner doesn't win shit without Soros buying it for him. Everyone knows it, including the spineless, anti-law and order Krasner. Krasner ain't shit, nor is anyone backing his crooked, weak ass up, including "Freedom Writer." And it ain't Freedom Writer, it's Freedom Rider by Traffic.

  5. Ok Jane, or little Bennie, whatever you say. Give my regards to Larry.

  6. Real issue is how many run against DA Krasner. If only Mr. Vega I think he has a good chance to win.


    Everyone who is outraged and has the means should donate $10-$20 to help boot Krasner


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