Monday, March 22, 2021

Thanks Uncle Larry! How D.A. Enabled A One-Man Crime Wave

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Meet Byseem Smith, the poster boy for showcasing how the District Attorney's office under Larry Krasner has failed abysmally when it comes to prosecuting violent crime.

As a teenager over a two and a half year period, Smith has been a one-man crime wave.

According to police and court records, Smith stands formally charged in ten felony cases for alleged offenses that include shooting a man in the groin, shooting a woman in the stomach, shooting at two other people, resisting arrest, and committing aggravated assault against a couple of cops. 

In the ten felony cases, Smith has further been accused of stealing a car, carrying drugs and repeatedly possessing illegal guns, including a Glock stolen from a county sheriff's department down in Virginia. 

Smith, at 5-foot-11 and 145 pounds, has curly black hair and a beard, and tattoos on his arms and neck. On his Instagram account he bills himself as "seems.savage,"and has posed with a semiautomatic allegedly used to shoot people. 

Smith, who hasn't turned 20 yet, is clearly a danger to the community, but how has the D.A.'s office treated him? By giving him one break after another that's repeatedly allowed Smith to go back on the streets again and commit more crimes.

The D.A.'s has dropped as many as 27 charges in one day against Smith so he could stay out of jail. The D.A.'s office also watched as a judge granted a defense motion reducing Smith's bail from $300,000 down to the equivalent of literally zero so that the result was that Smith literally got out of jail free, with no appeal filed by the D.A.'s office.

The D.A.'s office has also repeatedly failed to prosecute Smith when he [A] failed to wear his GPS monitor, [B] failed to appear in court, and [C] failed to live up to his legal obligations to stay out of further trouble while on parole, so he could stay out of jail.

In short, during Smith's one-man crime wave, the D.A.'s office has repeatedly functioned as Smith's official enabler, while repeatedly failing to protect the public.

This afternoon, District Attorney Krasner was the featured attraction at a Zoom debate sponsored by the Philadelphia Bar Association. Judging by his performance, Krasner's ability to live in an alternative universe was truly impressive.

At the debate, Krasner blamed the city's record gun violence solely on the pandemic, and not on his policies. And instead of debating Carlos Vega, his opponent in the May 18th Democratic primary, and Chuck Peruto Jr., his Republican opponent in the November general election, Krasner pretended he was debating Frank Rizzo and Donald Trump.

With one reference after another to Rizzo and Trump, Krasner kept serving up red meat to his progressive base, as he portrayed himself as the great reformer. It was hard to watch as the moderator kept all the candidates reigned in with strict Marquis of Queensberry rules. During two hours of tedium, the candidates were held to giving 60 and 90 second answers to way too many social justice questions, with no follow-up questions or back-and-forth debate allowed. 

It would have been a welcome relief if somebody broke into Krasner's Zoom chamber, aimed a bullhorn at that smug, pompous ass, and screamed, "You're lying while people are dying," "Everything you're saying is BS," and, "You've got blood on your hands!"

But it wasn't happening at the P.C. Bar Association debate.

When he's allowed to get away with nonsense like that, Krasner is counting on the public never hearing about cases like Byseem Smith's. Because it lays out a damning set of facts from police and court records that Krasner can't refute.

Which is why Krasner has been stonewalling Big Trial for the past 19 months. Because that's all we've been doing is telling these stories. The shame is that we're the only ones doing it.

Byseem Smith's criminal odyssey began on April 23, 2018, when, at the tender age of 16, he was arrested on three drug charges -- manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, intentional possession of a controlled substance, and possession of marijuana.

What was the disposition of the case?

On May 28, 2019, in front of Judge Richard Gordon, the D.A.'s office withdrew all three charges.

Smith's second arrest happened on Oct. 18, 2018, when he was busted again on drug charges.

What was the disposition of the case?

On Sept. 16, 2020, in front of Judge Gordon again, Smith was found to be an adjudicated delinquent, the equivalent of a guilty plea, on a charge of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. The D.A.'s office withdrew a charge of intentional possession of a controlled substance. 

On Christmas Eve, 2018, Smith went on a spree that resulted in five cases being filed against him. 

The incident began, according to a police report, when a suspect subsequently identified on surveillance video as Smith entered the Sing Wah Kitchen at 3960 N. Darien Street, and asked two men if they wanted to fight. 

The two men walked outside with Smith, who promptly drew a black semiautomatic handgun with a laser sight and aimed it one of the men and allegedly pulled the trigger.

When police showed up at approximately 8:45 p.m. at the restaurant, they found a victim inside suffering from a gun shot to the groin. He was taken to Temple University Hospital for emergency surgery where he lost consciousness, and didn't have a pulse. 

When cops showed up at the house of Smith's mother in the 3800 block of N. Marshall Street with a search warrant, Smith attempted to flee on foot but was confronted by two SWAT team members. According to a police report, before he was subdued and arrested, Smith "began to struggle and flail," swinging his arms with closed fists" at one officer, who sustained an abrasion on his nose and an injured right knee. 

Smith's mother gave the cops permission to interview her son. According to a police report, Smith waived his Miranda rights and provided a statement where he identified himself from still images on surveillance video that showed Smith holding a gun.

Smith, however, denied that he fired the gun. But on his Instagram account, he was wearing the same clothing that he was seen on surveillance video wearing the night of the shooting. And on his Instagram account, Smith was brandishing the same semiautomatic seen on surveillance video taken during the alleged crime. 

Inside Smith's house, police also found the key of a car that Smith was accused of stealing.

On Jan. 19, 2019, the D.A.'s office filed five cases and a total of 27 charges against Smith that included:

-- one count of attempted murder;
-- five counts of aggravated assault;
-- two counts of carrying unlicensed firearms;
-- two counts of carrying firearms in public;
-- two counts of possession of firearms by a minor;
-- two counts of possession of an instrument of crime;
-- five counts of simple assault;
-- five counts of reckless endangerment;
-- three counts of resisting arrest.

But when it came time to prosecute the case, since Smith was only 17 and a juvenile when he allegedly committed all these crimes, the typical move would have been for the D.A. to hold a preliminary hearing, where cops, detectives and alleged victims could have testified against Smith, binding him over for trial. 

Then, the D.A.'s office could have agreed to transfer the case to juvenile court after Smith had agreed to plead guilty there.

Clearly, Smith was a danger to the community, a gun-packing, drug-dealing, car-stealing, cop assaulting would-be killer. 

But what did the D.A.'s office do? They didn't even bother to hold a preliminary hearing. And then, on April 11, 2019, in front of Judge Frank Brady, the D.A.'s office withdrew all 27 charges. 

The only charges that made it to juvenile court involved receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and the aggravated assaults on the two cops.

What happened in juvenile court?

On May 28, 2019, in front of Judge Gordon again, Smith was found to be an adjudicated defendant on a charge of aggravated assault. The D.A.'s office dropped three other charges -- simple assault, resisting arrest, and reckless endangerment. 

On Sept. 16, 2020, in front of Judge Gordon, Smith was found to be an adjudicated delinquent on the charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The D.A.'s office withdrew charges of receiving stolen property and criminal mischief. 

That same day, on charges of assaulting a second cop, Smith was found to be an adjudicated delinquent, the equivalent of guilty, on charges of simple assault and resisting arrest. The D.A.'s office dropped two other charges -- aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

And what were the consequences to Smith's one-man crime spree? Did the D.A.'s office prosecute him as an adult?

Nope. On June 13, 2019, Smith was sent to the North Central Secure Treatment Unit in Danville, PA, where he spent eight months as a juvenile prisoner. 

On Feb. 24, 2020, Smith was placed on a GPS in Philadelphia. But that didn't stop him from committing more alleged crimes.

On March 22, 2020, police responding to a call of a robbery on the 3800 block of N. Percy Street found Smith dressed in all black, acting extremely nervous, and apparently, not wearing his GPS. 

"I didn't do that robbery," Smith told the cops. But when the cops asked if he had any weapons on him, he attempted to flee. 

According to a police report, Smith was carrying a black Glock 23 Gen 4 with a badge insignia on the firearm that said Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office. The gun was loaded with 21 live .40 caliber rounds and one additional .40 caliber round in the chamber.

On top of that, Smith was carrying a total of 21 live .40 caliber rounds in his pants, along with a vial filled with 32 Xanax pills.

He was charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm, possession of a prohibited firearm, carrying firearms in public, and possession of an instrument of crime.

When dealing with a juvenile with a record like Smith had, the D.A.'s office could have gone hard after the defendant, especially when they found him in possession of a gun clearly stolen from law enforcement.

At a Sept. 22, 2020 hearing, Smith's bail was set at $300,000 monetary, meaning he had to put up 10%, or $30,000 to get out of jail.

But on Sept. 4, 2020, a judge granted a defense motion, and Smith's bail was reduced to $300,000 unsecured, meaning he didn't have to post a cent to get out of jail. Court records do not state whether the D.A.'s office opposed the motion. There is also no record of the D.A.'s office filing an appeal. 

On Sept. 9, 2020, court records say, Smith was placed back on a GPS. There is no mention in court or police records about what happened to Smith's first GPS monitor. 

On Sept. 14, 2020, both sides were reported ready to proceed in court, but Smith, apparently no longer wearing his second GPS monitor, failed to appear in court. 

No bench warrant, however, was issued.

At 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2020, police officers in the 25th District responded to a report of a shooting on the 800 block of W. Butler Street. Officers and paramedics were met by a woman who was suffering from two gunshot wounds in the stomach. She was transported to Temple University Hospital where she was treated and reported in stable condition.

The victim told police she was accosted by a thin black male who pulled out a black firearm, which she described as looking like a police officer's gun. And then he asked her "What do you have to give me?"

He took an order of Chinese food away from the victim, and as she walked away, the assailant fired numerous shots at her and another person who was with her. The victim felt a burning sensation in her stomach.

The victim told police that earlier, she had gotten into an argument in a Chinese store with two females, one of whom told her, "I'm going to get someone to bust ya'all ass."

The two women returned minutes later with the thin black male with the gun.

Surveillance video showed the assailant arriving in a dark-colored Saturn, and then fleeing in that same car after he shot the victim. Police interviewed witnesses and discovered that the assailant was known on Instagram as "seems.savage."

On his Instagram account, Smith was depicted with a Glock with an extended magazine sticking out of his waistband. Witnesses subsequently identified Smith as the assailant. 

He was arrested and hit with 14 different charges, including two counts each of attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, robbery with intent to inflict serious bodily injury, and reckless endangerment. In addition he was charged with one count each of possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of prohibited firearms, carrying firearms in public, and possession of an instrument of crime.

On Sept. 29, 2020, a judge approved a motion to reinstate previously set bail.

On the charges of possessing a gun supposedly stolen from the sheriff's department, Smith is due in court tomorrow for a preliminary hearing, more than a year after his original arrest. 

The preliminary hearing in the case where Smith allegedly shot a woman in the stomach is scheduled for June 3rd. 

And what does the district attorney have to say in response to this report?

As he has done for the past 19 months, Krasner and his official spokesperson, Jane Roh, did not respond to a request for comment. 

In his defense, Krasner was too busy at the debate, giving speeches about the pandemic, Frank Rizzo, and Donald Trump.

7 comments

  1. Hey, this is terrible news to all of us, but GREAT news to the degenerate scumbags who fund disgusting people like Krasner and other pro-criminal freaks masquerading as prosecutors. And unlike decades past where turning a city into a craphole would cause a loss of tax funds, no need to worry since sleazy sugar daddy biden will come through with the slush fund, called "covid relief" or something similar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. DA Larry Krasner is rich.
    Very rich.
    Most rich. Very,most rich.
    He doesn't have to live in the community he oppresses with his justice. He can afford to live somewhere affluent and safe.
    Rich.
    Very rich he is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Who else enjoys watching the local government officials fail? I can’t be the only one! Come on man!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which is how the feds indict so many politicians, its sport for them and entertainment for you. No I do not like seeing local government fail.

      Delete
    2. 111 homicides as of right now. None of them are helping the matter and it’s very unfortunate!

      Delete
    3. They are not failing for the billionaire class, which is who the really serve. I just read in the Inquirer that the city wants to use the pandemic money to lower business taxes! As a way to reduce poverty!!!!! The Inquirer: Funded by billionaires to serve oligacrhs.

      Delete

    4. this guy killed two people I know and still gets off this is isn’t right. He robbed a friend of mine and killed him

      Delete

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