Pottstown Residents Speak Up About Recent Violent Crimes

POTTSTOWN, PA — Even before Steven Mitchell was found dead in his car on Jefferson Avenue Thursday night, borough residents were beginning to express concerns about the mini crime wave that has hit Pottstown.

“Pottstown is becoming another Chester, PA,” North Hanover Street resident Dianne Krumm told borough council at its Wednesday night work session.

Since May 30, Pottstown has seen shooting incidents near Brian’s Cafe, a car wash at Wilson and Spruce streets and a man shot in the elbow on Lincoln Avenue, not to mention the attempted robbery of the Wells-Fargo Bank on East High Street.

“I was laying in my bed and I swear I could hear the bullets,” Krumm said. “I want something done about crime.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140607/pottstown-residents-speak-up-about-recent-violent-crimes

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Jury To Hear Norristown Man’s Statements In Pottstown Murder Trial

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — An accused Pottstown murder conspirator has lost his bid to prevent a jury from hearing the alleged incriminating statements he gave to police following a gunshot slaying outside a local bar.

Michael Romain Hinton’s police statements are admissible trial evidence, Montgomery County President Judge William J. Furber Jr. ruled after determining Hinton’s statements were voluntary and properly obtained by detectives investigating the 2:17 a.m. March 22, 2013, gunshot slaying of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez outside Brian’s Café in Pottstown.

Hinton, 27, of the 900 block of North Stanbridge Street in Norristown, and his lawyer Patrick J. McMenamin Jr. maintained Hinton’s statements were not voluntary or knowing because he was questioned while waiting for or under treatment at the hospital for gunshot wounds he suffered on March 22.

But Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Strubel argued Hinton was properly questioned by detectives and that there was nothing to indicate he was confused or under the influence of medication at the time. Strubel implied Hinton was so coherent that he even was able to concoct an initial false statement in an alleged attempt to mislead detectives about the shooting.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140318/jury-to-hear-norristown-mans-statements-in-pottstown-murder-trial

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1 Pottstown Murder Suspect To Stand Trial, 1 Has Hearing Continued

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP — The two suspects in a late-night shooting outside a North Charlotte Street bar on March 22 were in court again on Friday morning and each of their cases moved closer to trial.

Maurice Andrews Jr., 19, of Pottstown, and Michael Hinton, 26, of Norristown, are charged with murder in the first-, second- and third-degree for the death of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez, also known as Vincent Taylor.

Andrews appeared in District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr.’s courtroom for the second time at 10 a.m. for his preliminary hearing, after it had been continued once.  The hearing was continued again and rescheduled for May 31 at 10 a.m. in the same courtroom.

At least 15 members of Andrews’ family and friends turned out for the hearing and were visibly frustrated when the hearing had been continued.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130517/NEWS01/130519334/1-pottstown-murder-suspect-to-stand-trial-1-has-hearing-continued#full_story

Manhunt For Alleged Pottstown Killer Ends; Maurice Andrews Apprehended

NORRISTOWN – A Pottstown man, the subject of a police manhunt for his alleged role in a plot to execute another man in a hail of bullets outside a borough bar, is no longer on the run.

Maurice Laverne “Reece” Andrews Jr., 19, whose last known address was in the first block of North Charlotte Street, has been apprehended by Montgomery County detectives in connection with the 2:17 a.m. March 22 gunshot slaying of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez outside Brian’s Café in the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue.

“We never stopped looking for Mr. Andrews.  It was a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week pursuit of Mr. Andrews and ultimately we were able to apprehend him due to the great work of our detectives and law enforcement agencies,” Assistant District Attorney Nathan Schadler said on Tuesday.  “This was a full court press.  We used every means available. It ended successfully.”

Andrews is charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and firearms violations in connection with the alleged shooting death of Baez, who authorities said was unarmed. Authorities alleged Andrews was involved in an ongoing feud with Baez at the time of the fatal shooting.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130430/NEWS01/130439953/manhunt-for-alleged-pottstown-killer-ends-maurice-andrews-apprehended#full_story

Police Search for Man Accused of Pottstown Murder

POTTSTOWN — A Pottstown man is the subject of a police manhunt for his alleged role in “a deliberate plot to execute” another man, with whom he was involved in an ongoing feud, in a hail of bullets outside a borough bar, according to authorities.

An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Maurice Laverne “Reece” Andrews Jr., 19, whose last known address was in the first block of North Charlotte Street, in connection with the 2:17 a.m. March 22 slaying of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez outside Brian’s Café in the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue.

Attempts to apprehend Andrews have been unsuccessful and authorities are seeking the public’s assistance. Authorities said Andrews has ties to Pottstown, Norristown and Philadelphia.

“I would encourage anyone not to try to stop him themselves.  He should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, urging anyone with information about Andrews’ whereabouts to immediately contact police or county detectives.  “Our biggest concern is this individual is armed and dangerous and he could pose a threat to someone else.  This is someone that we need to capture safely for the safety of the community and to bring justice to this case.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130411/NEWS01/130419910/pottstown-man-subject-of-manhunt-for-alleged-slaying-outside-bar#full_story

2 Charged In Shooting Death Of Pottstown Man

The following press release was just issued by the Montgomery County District Attorney regarding murder charges of the March 22 shooting in Pottstown:

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders and Captain F. Richard Drumheller announce the filing of murder charges against Michael Hinton and Maurice Andrews Jr. for the shooting death of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez, also known as Vincent Taylor.

On Friday, March 22, 2013, at approximately 2:17 a.m., Pottstown Police responded to the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue for the report of a gunshot victim.  Upon arrival police found Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez lying on the street outside of Brian’s Café.  Baez had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his torso.  Baez was rushed to Pottstown Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

On March 22, 2013, Doctor Erica Williams, a Forensic Pathologist, performed an autopsy on Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez.  Following the autopsy, Doctor Williams opined that the cause of Baez’s death was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was homicide.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130410/NEWS01/130419952/2-charged-in-shooting-death-of-pottstown-man

Pottstown Homicide – When Is Enough Violent Crime Enough?

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you read today’s Mercury, you undoubtedly noticed there was a fatal shooting at Brian’s Cafe on the corner of North Charlotte Street and Jefferson Avenue around 2:00 am this morning.  A 27-year-old male died at PMMC after being transported there from the crime scene.

It appears the leadership of Pottstown doesn’t care about crime.  They are more concerned about saving paper and buying 23 iPads instead of spending money on surveillance cameras, police overtime, more police, crime tracking software, cops walking a beat and/or any other assorted method(s) to combat crime.

Pottstown will never revitalize until it gets cleaned up.  Cleaning up Pottstown won’t happen until somebody takes crime seriously and (a).  allocates some resources to solve the problem or (b). asks for help from the state or (c).  all the above.   Keeping a “lid on the powder keg” isn’t a strategy, sorry!

Criminals are not afraid of the police.  Drug deals take place is broad daylight.  Vagrants wander the downtown chasing away potential customers who are trying to patronize one of the few businesses on High Street.  The laws already on the books are not enforced.   Yet borough council meetings have plain clothes police officers in the audience to keep the unruly taxpayers quiet. Maybe those police officers should be patrolling the streets instead of being used to intimidate the very people who pay their salaries.

The Codes Department is a shambles and has contributed to the problem by allowing absentee landlords to carve up homes into substandard rental units.  You have all been following this debacle in the Mercury, I’m sure.  Absentee landlords fail to conduct background checks and will rent to anybody willing to pay in cash.  Pottstown is overrun with social service agencies, Section 8 housing, vagrants, drugs and criminals.

Pottstown keeps promoting from within which is perpetuating the leadership vacuum.  How many borough employees live in Pottstown?  Do any police officers live in Pottstown?  Does Pottstown have any minority or female police officers?  Does Chief BM live in Pottstown?  Did Jason Bobst live in Pottstown?

Has anybody noticed all the for sale signs dotting the borough?  What about all the Sheriff’s sales? People just walk away from their homes.

Before Pottstown becomes the next Camden or Chester, somebody needs to do something.  As voters, you can do something by cleaning house this fall and getting new blood on Pottstown Borough Council and electing a new mayor.  If things don’t change soon, there will be no going back.  The day of reckoning is almost at hand.

We urge voters to check out the Reform Party candidates for Pottstown Borough Council and Ross Belovich for mayor as alternatives to the current bumper crop of ostriches on council and the illustrious Missy Mayor.  You can make a difference.

The taxpayers of Pottstown need to take control of their own destiny.  You’re footing the bill so you should be calling the shots.  Get people on council who will truly represent your interests instead of electing those who foster their own private agendas and could give a rip about your needs.

Power to the Pottstown People!