Zimmerman Is Acquitted Of Murder And Manslaughter Charges

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty on Saturday of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin.  He also was acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge.

After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Mr. Zimmerman, 29, had deliberately pursued Mr. Martin, 17, because he viewed the hoodie-clad teenager as a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death.

Mr. Zimmerman said he shot Mr. Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk.  In finding him not guilty of murder or manslaughter, the jury agreed that Mr. Zimmerman could have been justified in shooting Mr. Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death.

The jury, which has been sequestered since June 24, deliberated 16 hours and 20 minutes over two days.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/george-zimmerman-verdict-trayvon-martin.html?_r=0

Ex-Pottstown Merchant Convicted Of Selling K2

NORRISTOWN — A former Pottstown store operator is the first merchant in Montgomery County to be convicted at trial under a recently enacted law of distributing synthetic marijuana from a business.

Rafie L. Ali, 35, who previously lived in an apartment above the Achi Store he helped operate at 315 E. High Street between February and May 2012, appeared stone-faced Thursday as a county jury convicted him of charges of corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia and conspiring with another man to commit those crimes.  The jury deliberated about 2½ hours before reaching its verdict.

The arrest and trial of Ali marked the first time that a store operator was charged in the county with selling synthetic marijuana, known as K2, under a state law that went into effect in August 2011 and criminalized such activity.

“After that law went into effect it was publicized heavily that synthetic cannabinoids are illegal.  In this case these individuals decided to get around that by hiding the K2 substances behind the counter and selling it.  It’s a matter of greed, trying to make money off of…a toxic substance,” said First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130614/NEWS01/130619553/ex-pottstown-merchant-convicted-of-selling-k2#full_story

Club Operator Who Fleeced John Bolaris Is Sentenced

The South Beach club operator who orchestrated the “bar girls” scheme that fleeced former Philadelphia weatherman John Bolaris out of $43,000 and eventually cost him his job was sentenced to 12 years in prison today.

According the Miami Herald, operator Albert Takhalov cried as he was sentenced.

Also sentenced today were Isaac Feldman, an investor in two of the clubs implicated in the “bar girls” ring, who received eight years, and Stanislav Pavlenko, will be sentenced later this month

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/entertainment/celebrities_gossip/Club-owner-who-fleeced-Bolaris-is-sentenced.html#Z64Gm19j6VUFVsVD.99

Carrero Pleads Guilty To Pottstown Murder

NORRISTOWN — A Pottstown man has admitted to strangling his girlfriend to death during a violent argument before hiding her body in the basement of her home and fleeing to Florida in the woman’s car.

Edwin Carrero II, 33, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court on Thursday to charges of third-degree murder, theft by unlawful taking and access device fraud in connection with the Feb. 2, 2012, strangulation death of 31-year-old Alicia Schmidt inside Schmidt’s 424 Cherry St. residence, where Carrero periodically resided.

“He strangled a defenseless woman in her bedroom with her children asleep in the house.  It doesn’t get any worse than this.  This is a murder case,” said Assistant District Attorney Wallis Brooks, who leads the district attorney’s domestic violence prosecution unit.

President Judge William J. Furber Jr. deferred sentencing so that court officials can complete a background investigative report about Carrero, who faces a possible maximum prison term of 30½ to 61 years.  Carrero, who also listed an address along Norris Hall Lane in West Norriton, bowed his head and did not respond to a reporter’s questions as sheriff’s deputies escorted him from the courtroom for the return to jail, where he remains pending sentencing.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130228/NEWS01/130229326/carrero-pleads-guilty-to-pottstown-murder-(video)#full_story

 

Man Charged With Assaulting, Torturing Elderly Sisters Waives Hearing

A 22-year-old man will be tried for binding, beating and torturing three elderly Mennonite sisters last year in what police called a case of “ethnic intimidation.”

Dereck Taylor Holt and his attorney, Alan Goldberg, waived a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning on numerous offenses, including felony aggravated assault, robbery, unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment.

In turn, District Judge Tony Russell ordered Holt to be tried on 23 charges related to the Dec. 14 incident in Clay Township.

Holt, locked up on $1 million bail since his arrest Dec. 16, appeared in the Ephrata courtroom only to sign paperwork.  He said nothing.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/811494_Man-charged-with-assaulting–torturing-elderly-sisters-waives-hearing.html#ixzz2K3oNvcKr