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Financial dispute leads to 1 of 4 weekend killings

A 27-year-old pregnant woman was critically wounded in Germantown last night by a stray bullet fired into in her apartment.

A 27-year-old pregnant woman was critically wounded in Germantown last night by a stray bullet fired into in her apartment.

The incident was one of several acts of violence this weekend that left four people dead and two others injured.

The woman was sitting inside her apartment, on Queen Lane near Pulaski Avenue, about 10 p.m. when gunfire erupted outside and a bullet flew inside, striking her in the head.

The circumstances surrounding the gunfire remained unclear last night. The woman, whose identity was not released, is reported to be four months pregnant. She remained at Albert Einstein Medical Center last night.

Also this weekend, police also arrested Joseph Vignola, 19, of Drexel Road near 64th Street, Overbrook, on charges of attempted murder.

Vignola - son of Joseph C. Vignola, a former city councilman and city controller - is accused of slashing an 18-year-old woman's neck in a room at the North American Inn Motor Lodge, on City Avenue near Belmont, on Wednesday, said Police Capt. John Darby, of the Special Victims Unit.

Police were led to Vignola by a "vague and anonymous tip," Darby said. Vignola and the victim had previous encounters and their meetings were facilitated by the Craigslist Web site, according to police. Darby said that there was no evidence to support reports and speculations of a binding or a sexual assault in the case.

The victim, who had surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to repair her "very substantial neck wound," is recovering, Darby said.

As a result of trauma, she is unable to recollect much of what occurred, according to police.

Vignola has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated and simple assault and related offenses. Darby was unable to say whether Vignola had been released on bail.

Other incidents this weekend, according to police, include:


9:49 p.m.: Charles Purnell, 22, of Pearl Street near 38th, was shot in the chest on Lancaster Avenue near Haverford. He was pronounced dead at 10:17 p.m. at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.


2:13 p.m.: Robert Shepard, 68, of Broad Street near Dauphin, fatally stabbed his nephew Kenneth Wiche, in Wiche's home, on 61st Street near Arch, in a dispute over money, police said.

Wiche, 48, was found on his dining-room floor. Within the hour, he was pronounced dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, police said. Police said Shepard stabbed Wiche in the torso and left arm with a kitchen knife while other family members were in the home. Some witnesses said the two had argued over Wiche's use or desire to use Shepard's taxi cab; others said the dispute was over a will, police said.

Shepard has been charged with murder and related offenses, and is being held without bail.

4:24 p.m.: Adam McGill, 18, was one of two victims of a double shooting at Howard Street near Susquehanna Avenue, Kensington. McGill was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:33 p.m. The other victim, a 17-year-old female who was shot in the stomach, is in serious but stable condition at Hahnemann University Hospital. Homicide Sgt. Tim Cooney said that McGill and the female victim were inside a residence when they were fired upon from outside.

11:38 p.m.: An unidentified 29-year-old man was shot multiple times in the torso at 8th Street and Hunting Park Avenue, in Hunting Park. He was in critical condition at Temple University Hospital.


12:50 a.m. An unidentified man in his 30s was shot three times in the chest on 8th Street near Berks. He died at 1:08 a.m. at Temple University Hospital. *