Police identify three charged in two killings
Inquirer staff writer Barbara Boyer reports:
Police today identified three Philadelphia men charged in two unrelated murders.
Antionne Russell, 16, of West Philadelphia is charged with the October killing in University City of a soldier who had returned home after completing his military training.
Daniel T. Hart, 23, and Charles Warenecki, 31, are charged in the murder of a 90-year-old woman who was robbed and fatally beaten outside her Port Richmond home last year, said homicide Capt. James Clark.
Clark gave this account of the University City killing: On Oct. 17, Pfc. Terrance Davis, 18, of the city's Mantua section, was shot fatally in the back at 40th and Ludlow Streets as he and a friend left an arcade and got into a minor confrontation with a group of youths that ended when Russell -15 at the time - fired the gun.
Davis died the next morning at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, three weeks before his 19th birthday. His friend, Ronald Morman, 19, was critically injured, but survived. In addition to murder, Russell faces aggravated assault.
"It's just a sad situation," Clark said of the circumstances that led up to the killing. "It's unbelievable."
Davis decided to join the Army while still in high school, and planned to be an engineer, his mother had told an Inquirer reporter at the time of her son's death. He had finished training Oct. 10 with the 35th Engineering Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and was working as a recruiter at George Washington Carver High School, his alma mater.
In September 2007, Alice Thurnau, 90, of Port Richmond, was fatally beaten and robbed outside her home in an attack police said at the time was a "particularly vicious, brutal and cowardly crime."
Thurnau was walking near her home in the 3300 block of Thompson Street when two men grabbed her, took her purse, knocked her down, and severely beat and kicked her while she was on the ground. She died several weeks later in St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, where she had been treated for severe injuries that included a crushed eye socket, cracked ribs, a broken hip, and bleeding on the brain, officials said.
Police said after her death that there was "no question" that Thurnau died as a result of the beating injuries. Before that, they said, she had an active life, occasionally taking a bus to the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem, and living independently.
"It's unconscionable," Clark said this morning of the attack on a victim who was targeted because she was "helpless."
Warenecki is 6 feet tall and weighs 230 pounds and Hart is 5-feet-10 and weighs 155 pounds, authorities said. After taking a small amount of cash, the men fled, and left the victim for dead, Clark said.
Read more breaking news in our From The Source blog.