Reports: Police Have Trooper Shooting Suspect Cornered

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Law enforcement apparently had state trooper shooting suspect Eric Matthew Frein trapped inside a house in Monroe County not far from his parents’ home Friday night.

Police surrounded a home where they believed Frein was hiding, a local government official told CNN.

The national Cable News Network, followed by other media outlets on-scene, reported the development shortly after 9:30 p.m.

The home, which was broken into, is not far from Frein’s family home in Canadensis, a village in Barrett Township, in the Poconos Mountains.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50349499/

Manhunt Intestifies; Frein Now Considered A Federal Fugitive

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Pike County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Pike County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BLOOMING GROVE TWP. — Eric Matthew Frein is now a federal fugitive.

U.S. Magisterial Judge Thomas M. Blewitt issued the warrant Tuesday for the 31-year-old Canadensis man, wanted by state police for murdering a state trooper, on the charge of flight to avoid prosecution.

The warrant was public but the affidavit supporting it was sealed.

Mr. Frein, 308 Seneca Lane, is accused of ambushing Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II, 38, and Trooper Alex T. Douglass, 31, during a shift change Friday night at the state police at Blooming Grove barracks.

Cpl. Dickson, of Dunmore, was shot twice and died at the scene; Trooper Douglass, of Olyphant, is recovering at Geisinger Community Medical Center from a gunshot wound to his pelvis.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/manhunt-intestifies-frein-now-considered-a-federal-fugitive-1.1754779

2 Bodies Pulled From Schuylkill River In Philadelphia

Two men were stabbed, bound and their bodies sunk with a makeshift anchor in the Schuylkill River, while a third man found half-dressed said he had been abducted in a bizarre series of events off Kelly Drive early this morning.

Philadelphia police were at the scene along the east side of the river, just past the John Kelly statue, for several hours this morning trying to untangle what happened to the three men.

The surviving victim told investigators that he had been grabbed by a group of about five men, thrown in the back of a van, stabbed, robbed and taken to the river with the two men whose bodies were later pulled from water. The other two were already in the van when he was abducted, the victim told police.

The investigation began around 4 a.m., when officers were called to the 2300 block of Kelly Drive, just past the statue, for a report of a man screaming, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/2_pulled_from_Schuylkill_River_.html#Pqt8zJw3YJCdDiCQ.99

Coroner Releases Name Of West York Shooting Victim

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The York County Coroner’s Office has released the name of a West York man found dead outside his home early Tuesday morning.

Lancelot Hylton, 41, of the 1100 block of West King Street, suffered a gunshot wound, York County Coroner Pam Gay said.

He was found dead on the front-porch stairs of his home, officials said.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26405766/coroner-called-shooting-west-york

Woman Shot Dead, Mother Wounded In Hill District Shooting

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three gunmen firing at least 20 shots killed a woman and wounded her mother Friday afternoon in front of the garage of their Hill District home, police said.

The shooting occurred about 3:15 p.m. in the 900 block of Cherokee Street near the intersection of Iowa Street. Neighbors heard multiple gunshots and called 911, Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6661582-74/district-hill-police#ixzz3BAc7edoP
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York City Police ID Man Found Dead Hours After Gunfire

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York City detectives on Monday afternoon had not yet determined why someone fatally shot a Lancaster County man whose body was found hours after he died on a city sidewalk.

“We’re out interviewing people now,” said Detective First Class Jeff Spence, who is supervising the investigation.

Hezekiah Walker’s killer, and the motive for the shooting, has not yet become clear, Spence said.

He said detectives do have some information to follow.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26357356/york-city-shooting-victim-found-dead-sidewalk-hours

Alleged Wife-Killer: ‘I Just Want This To Go Away’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHRISTOPHER Murray said his wife was “a beautiful woman; a loving, caring mother, a fabulous friend.”

No one in Northeast Philadelphia would dispute that. Connie Murray was all those things and more.

But before he clammed up on a Daily News reporter Wednesday night – the day police released autopsy results revealing that his wife had been slain – Murray said something else.

Not that he wanted the public’s help in tracking down her killer. He said he wanted to move on, one day after her body was found in Pennypack Park.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140811_Alleged_wife-killer___I_just_want_this_to_go_away_.html#XGqMX3aqZj8S1BSb.99

Police Probe 2 Overnight Killings In North Philadelphia

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia police are investigating two overnight killings that happened less than a mile apart in North Philadelphia.

The first happened shortly after 11 p.m., when a 53-year-old was beaten in the head with a blunt object outside a home on the 2800 block of North Fairhill Street, police said.

The exact weapon used wasn’t known, but police at the scene told reporters that witnesses reported seeing a man running from the scene carrying some type of metal object.

Police this morning identified the victim as Miguel Aguilar and said he lived on the block where he was killed.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Police_probe_2_overnight_killings_in_North_Philadelphia.html#ACJ6RB92h5orJZkM.99

Man Killed In Saturday Morning Shooting In Manheim Township

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man was killed in a shooting Saturday morning in Manheim Township.

According to emergency dispatches, the man was transported to a hospital about 3:50 a.m. for a gunshot wound.

The incident reportedly happened in the area of the 800 block of New Holland Avenue, just outside the city.

Officials confirmed Saturday at 10:30 a.m. that the man has died.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/update-man-killed-in-saturday-morning-shooting-in-manheim-township/article_dcf7f144-f92f-11e3-8c74-0017a43b2370.html

Police Search For Shooter In Killing Of 26-Year-Old Lancaster City Man

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 26-year-old father of three young children was gunned down late Sunday in Lancaster Township in what police believe was not a random attack.

The Lancaster County coroner identified the victim as Jonathan Santiago of 840 Prangley Ave., which is about a block and a half from where the shooting occurred.

Santiago was with a group of people walking near James Buchanan Elementary School when he was shot just after 11:30 p.m., Manheim Township police Lt. Robert Baldwin said.

The shooter was near a parked white Honda. The suspect and others fled in the vehicle after the shooting, Baldwin said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/man-shot-and-killed-in-lancaster-township/article_6199f058-f53b-11e3-9491-0017a43b2370.html?mode=story

2 Arrested In Pottstown Murder

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Two men were arrested Friday for the murder of Steven Mitchell, who was found dead in his car on June 5 in the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue.

John Anthony Parson Jr., 18, of Pottstown, and Tyron Joab Witherspoon, 22, of Philadelphia, both face murder, robbery and conspiracy charges, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Parson was arrested Friday morning in Lower Pottsgrove and Witherspoon was arrested in Philadelphia, the D.A.’s office said.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a witness told police Mitchell was shot in Liberty Alley during a transaction where a group of people intended to buy crack cocaine and a 9 mm handgun.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140613/2-arrested-in-pottstown-murder

Our Thoughts On Last Night’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting

Editor’s comments:  Below I have reprinted the text from Katy Jackson’s heartfelt speech with my thoughts.  Love her or hate her, Katy cannot be accused of taking the path of least resistance.  The time Katy has put into trying to make Pottstown a better place is enormous.  There are plenty of other things she could be doing with her time.  Katy gets no pay, Mr. Toroney yet she puts in countless hours working toward the betterment of Pottstown and has plenty to show for her efforts, it in terms of accomplishments. Yes, I know you work full-time.

It angered me that Katy was interrupted and told to “wrap it up” at only 4 minutes.  It showed a complete lack of respect and civility.  Mrs. Jackson is WELL AWARE of the time limit for citizen comments.  She was reading a prepared text, which she timed.  That fact that she was the ONLY person interrupted tells me her words hit too close to home.  The truth hurts. 

All this blustering and obfuscation needs to stop, along with blaming the taxpayers.  It pisses them off as you were told last night.  I hope you heard that loud and clear. 

Mr. Toroney, you know being a Councilor is time-consuming, yet you keep running for re-election.  You know it pays virtually nothing, yet you keep running for re-election.  Either the job is your joy and sacred duty or a time-sucking pain in the ass, it cannot be both.

After introducing herself as a representative of the Citizens Action Committee of Pottstown, Katy said:

Mr. Toroney, you’ve taken the path of least resistance in your lengthy term (15 ½ years) on council.  Art Markman, PhD, a professor of Psychology at the University of Texas and Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations, writes ‘the path of least resistance’ asThe psychologist Tom Ward points out that when we think about anything, we follow the path of least resistance.  Without realizing it, we instantly and automatically categorize every situation we see based on our previous experience.  So, despite our best efforts to do something bold and new, our memory drives us back to things tried and true.  Our efforts at creativity are thwarted before they get on track.

Several years ago, you made a comment to a council person that “you don’t get paid enough”.   Yet, you have vied to retain your seat and you’ve accepted the position of Council President, more than once.  Have you failed to understand that serving as an elected official is not about the money?  Or is it…?  Mr. Toroney, if being on council is your “sacred duty” as you professed last night, then may I suggest you actually do something.  Last night would have been the perfect opportunity for a list of accomplishments that you, as Council President, achieved which propelled Pottstown forward.

Given that the process was in place and, taxpayers covered the costs to seek a qualified outside borough manager, you took the path of least resistance.  This is the $120,000 question.  If Pottstown Borough government operated in the real world, a more experienced person would be Borough Manager and making a more reasonable salary considering the size of the local government.  Also, a more experienced person would have realized if you spend more money than you bring in, you create a deficit.  There is no “extra” money in the budget to reward our friends with promotions and raises, to buy a new car, to hand out iPads, or spend money on consultants that we planned on ignoring all along.  Taxpayers are smarter than you think.

When it was time to select a new Police Chief for Pottstown, you made no pretense about choosing the path of least resistance.  Again, in the real world, people are held to metrics and performance goals.  I supervised people for over 20 years and wrote countless performance appraisals.  Employees were ranked according to their achievements.  If you failed to meet goals such as quantity and quality, your performance review reflected this.  Your raise, or lack of a raise was dependent upon your results.  Your customer service skills, ability to work and play well with others, your attendance, punctuality etc… were all measured.  When my people missed their goals, I heard about it from my boss.  Had I told my V.P. that my goal was to increase productivity by 1% I would have most likely been demoted, once he stopped laughing.

Each month when the expenditures for the borough are approved by council do you read the line items and scrutinize the spending or…do you take the path of least resistance?  I will say Pottstown’s finances improved greatly due to Jason Bobst, Janice Lee and Dan Weand.  However, if we allow the borough manager spend money we don’t have, whose fault would that be?  In the real world, his supervisor.  In Pottstown’s case, that would be borough council, headed up by El Presidente, Steve Toroney.  The borough manager needs supervision, sorry.  Inaction makes you complicit when overspending occurs.  Just say no.

Do you believe that upper management requires exorbitant salaries, top of the line new vehicles, iPads for officials, costly analysis of the codes department, bullet proof surround for upper management while taxpayers and residents of Pottstown watch in disbelief as our community deteriorates before our eyes. Diligent public employees struggle to do their best with chaos but others could care less about their jobs.  You have taken the path of least resistance, Mr. Toroney.  See above commentary…this also falls under reigning in your employees.

You appointed an ad hoc committee to vet prospective engineer firms who ultimately chose Remington, Veronica and Beach, in March 2012. It is evidenced that you were aware of impropriety in that process yet, you did not speak up.  You went on to support a hasty, questionable expenditure of unbudgeted tax payer money of around $33,000 for an analysis of the codes department by Remington, Veronica and Beach.  Again, I ask, was this the path of least resistance?   This debacle is just unbelievable.  No words.

I believe this poor, struggling community cannot afford you, Mr. Toroney. Your selective interest and support of worthy organizations in Pottstown appears to be based on your personal approval or disapproval of the individuals that comprise their groups.  Despite your disdain, these organizations forge ahead in the challenging roles they have accepted to make Pottstown a better place for all residents.   Why has it been difficult for you to offer encouragement and take an interest in your community?  In this, you have again chosen a path that may have been easy for you but you have made it difficult for many others.   Mr. Toroney’s irrational fear of a certain non-profit organization in Pottstown is just maddening.  This organization can actually list substantial accomplishments that have made Pottstown a better place.  This mentality is very junior high school.  Stop the madness and grow up.

You have failed to advocate for the taxpayers and good citizens of Pottstown and in doing so, you condone the rising crime and disintegration of our community.  Rather than using your position, as Council President, to communicate with Montgomery County and State officials, to keep the concerns of this community in the forefront of their decision-making, you have engaged in conspiracy theories about the Counties intentions toward Pottstown.  And we have been further isolated in our efforts to revitalize.  Pottstown’s potential is enormous.  As I drove down High Street last night from McDonald’s to borough hall I remembered what drew me to live in Pottstown all those years ago.  I like towns better than “burbs”.  I like the hustle and bustle, the diversity, the architecture, the history etc…  When I first moved to Pottstown in 1983 I lived in Valley View Apartments in North Coventry Township.  Less than two years later I moved into the borough and lived on the 200 block of Walnut Street, followed by the 100 block of King Street, the 1400 block of Queen Street and the 900 block of Hale Street.  I CHOSE to live in Pottstown.  Sadly, in 2012 I CHOSE to move out of Pottstown because of crime, blight and the cost of living. 

We’re asking you tonight to step down from service to this community so that an “individual” among you, that council deems qualified, can pick up the pieces, and lead. We desperately need real leaders in Pottstown.   Lead or get out-of-the-way, Mr. Toroney.

Mr. Toroney are you proud of what Pottstown has become?  John Potts is rolling over in his grave on a daily basis over what has been done to his town. 

It’s not too late to save Pottstown but the residents need to start driving the bus and stop being taken for a ride.  Power to the Pottstown People!

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Toroney Touts Tenure On Pottstown Council, Accomplishments – Reads From Prepared Statement

POTTSTOWN, PA – Several dozen people stood in front of Pottstown Borough Hall, before tonight’s council meeting, to protest the rash of violence, including a homicide, that has gripped the borough in the last few weeks.  NBC 10, the Reading Eagle and ace Mercury Reporter, Evan Brandt were all on hand (sorry if I missed anyone).  Motorists honked and shouted encouragement from time to time as the protesters held up signs asking Pottstown Borough Council President Steve Toroney to resign.

Despite the threatening weather, the demonstration went on.  Around 6:30 pm, Mr. Toroney arrived and entered the building by the front door.  He appeared indifferent to the demonstrators.

The meeting started at 7:00 pm with the Call to Order.  For the Invocation, President Toroney briefly spoke about former Pottstown Mayor Anne Jones, who passed away a few days ago.  A moment of silence was then observed for Anne and her family.

The agenda then moved through the Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call, Approval of Minutes and then Comments from Citizens Present.

The first commenter was well-known Pottstown civic activist, Katy Jackson.  Speaking on behalf of the Pottstown Citizens Action Committee, Mrs. Jackson read with emotion from her prepared statement, which outlined in less than five minutes the flawed leadership of President Toroney.  She was interrupted at 4 minutes to tell her she had one minute left and to “wrap it up”.  No other speaker was interrupted.  See my Roy’s Rants Facebook page to view video.

Dianne Krumm, another member of the Pottstown Citizens Action Committee echoed much of Mrs. Jackson’s concerns.  She also cited Pottstown Police Chief Richard Drumheller’s goal to reduce crime in Pottstown by 1% when he took office.  She suggested Pottstown ask for help from the state to aid the beleaguered police department.

Cindy Conard, former challenger for the 7th Ward Council seat, stressed the need for conversation and communication between the residents and the borough.  She also mentioned the lack of vision and direction as contributing factors to the frustration of taxpayers.

David Garner, Esquire addressed the 7th Ward Councilor for ignoring his emails (not the first person with this issue).  He again offered his help to the borough, even after being told his help “was not needed and not wanted”.

Several others addressed council with comments like “come live in my neighborhood for a day or a week”, “my property value has dropped $40,000 in 5 years” and “the borough manager rejected my request for an appointment”.

A young woman told a horror story of being abused by an extractive property investor.  His property was inspected by the Pottstown Codes Department, there were major violations yet nothing ever happened to her landlord.  She had no heat for two months and duct tape over the windows and doors to keep the air out, “you could see outside”.  She called the Pottstown Police Department because she was being terrorized, nothing happened.  They were more interested in running her information to see if she had outstanding warrants than they were to protect her from defiant trespass.  She had to go to Norristown to get help and moved before her lease was up.  She rightly wonders why her landlord was not held accountable for the ordinances she found on the borough website and why the police department was not interested in helping her.  Great questions.

The last person who spoke expressed his frustration with being told he, as a taxpayer, is not doing enough to help fight crime in Pottstown.  He is a life-long resident of the borough, an upstanding citizen who does call the police and tries to do the right thing.  Being told he is not doing enough “pisses him off”.  He lives within a block of the recent murder (and a previous murder).  He also mentioned shootings, arson and cars being vandalized in his neighborhood.  Blaming the people who pay your salary is never the way to go.

So after all these taxpayers poured out their hearts to borough council, a red-faced Steve Toroney read a prepared statement touting his 15 ½ years on Council.  Normally politicians can rattle off a list of their accomplishments at the drop of a hat.  Steve is proud of what he has accomplished but did not offer one illustration of any accomplishment in his statement.  Interesting.  See my Roy’s Rants Facebook page to view video.   Mr. Toroney got a “jab” in at former Sixth Ward Councilor, Jody Rhoads in his remarks about not resigning.

The next item was the Mayor’s Report.  The mayor had three talking points.  First she talked about Anne Jones.  That was very nice.  Then she talked about Edgewood Cemetery, at some length.  Basically, it’s abandoned and the borough does not own the property.  The cemetery needs to be maintained… the problem.  Lastly, Sharon addressed crime.  She talked so long the video card filled up and my camera stopped recording.  Sharon did mention the last citizen’s comments in her remarks about crime.

The Borough Manager’s Report was short.  He mentioned the upcoming Pottstown Rumble volleyball tournament and that the hours are changing at borough hall. He did not acknowledge any of the citizens comments.

I left after his remarks.

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The Unfurling Of Cronyism In The Borough Of Pottstown…

Roy:

We feel this post merits re-posting on our site. We feel the time has come for the good people of Pottstown to say ENOUGH ALREADY! Your presence at the demonstration and meeting tomorrow night is essential if the elected leadership is to see people mean business. The only way to send a message is to show up. 10 people at a council meeting sends the signal that the good people of Pottstown are either okie dokie with the way things are run OR that y’all don’t care. We urge you to make the time to attend the meeting tomorrow night. Share your displeasure with the elected leadership. Demand change. You pay very high taxes to live in Pottstown and deserve to feel safe and secure. Power to the Pottstown people!

Our friends at Golden Cockroach write:

Originally posted on :

Back in March, 2012 the Patch online news conducted a survey of Pottstown.  They asked:

“What Keeps Pottstown From Success?”

Survey said:

Crime — 31 percent
Drug gangs — 2 percent
A high rental to private homeowner ratio — 16 percent
Section 8 — 6 percent
Government — 33 percent
Negative thinking and apathy — 6 percent
The need for a commuter train — 0 percent

* This is not a scientific poll*  In my experience it is an accurate representation.  However, when asked, Pottstown officials repeatedly say the biggest problem is NEGATIVITY AND APATHY among Pottstown citizens… 

as exemplified in the comments of Borough Manager/former Chief of Police, Mark Flanders, in this 2010 article.  These sentiments are not unique to Flanders, they are etched into the minds of local officials.  They are passed down, as a torch, to all incoming leaders until it has become the mantra, the…

View original 1,046 more words

Pottstown Shooting Death Ruled Homicide

POTTSTOWN, PA — The victim of a fatal shooting Thursday night has been identified.

Steven Mitchell, 20, was found dead in a car in the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue.

Mitchell died from a single gunshot wound to the torso, according to Dr. Walter Hofman, the Montgomery County Coroner. Hofman was not able to confirm where Mitchell lived.

Mitchell’s death was ruled a homicide, Hofman said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/update-pottstown-shooting-death-ruled-homicide

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In Solving Camden Homicides, Intimidation Is Huge Hurdle

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ernesto Torres was gunned down nearly two months ago, the bullets flying, his family suspects, because of his dispute with another man about a woman.

Like others whose loved ones have been killed in Camden this year, his mother, Cary Soldevila, hoped for a quick arrest. But the investigation, which came to a head over the weekend when an arrest warrant was issued for a suspect, took patience.

“I want peace in my heart,” said Soldevila, 43, “that I can go to sleep at night and know that this person who destroyed my life is put away.”

Torres, 22, is one of 17 people killed in Camden so far this year. Of those 17 homicides, 12 are unsolved. Investigators say they have promising leads in some of the cases. But witness intimidation, a lack of people willing to step forward, and a backlog of homicide cases from past years – including 2012, when a record 67 people were killed – have slowed progress.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140526_In_solving_Camden_homicides__intimidation_is_huge_hurdle.html#QDSmOQafb3k89YLB.99

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Scranton Police Arrest 16-Year-Old In Cabbie’s Murder

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Aazis Richardson walked out of the makeshift courtroom at Scranton Police Headquarters to the holding cell, he gave a simple explanation for shooting a McCarthy Flowered Cab driver twice in the back of the head early Friday morning.

“That’s what I do to people that don’t listen.”

Just hours after Vincent Darbenzio was murdered in his driver’s seat, police found the 16-year-old hiding in an attic at 1009-1011 Washburn St. with suspected blood on his pants and arrested him.

Richardson, 1011 Washburn St., Scranton, was charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder, robbery and related counts. He was sent to Lackawanna County Prison without bail. His preliminary hearing is set for May 30.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/scranton-police-arrest-16-year-old-in-cabbie-s-murder-1.1691773

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