Here’s what will make news this week
city hall Property-tax impact
So, what does the Nutter administration think about City Council President Darrell Clarke's proposals to protect longtime homeowners, seniors and low-income residents, should the city move to a property-tax system based on market values?
The administration is set to testify Monday about a package of bills that Clarke introduced that includes property-tax exemptions to homeowners of 10 years or more in gentrified neighborhoods, and a tax credit to low-income homeowners.
The administration has been working with Clarke to protect residents who might be impacted by the shift.
COMMON PLEAS COURT
2 on trial in deaths of 4
Donte Cradock and Ivan Rodriguez set out to steal a motorcycle at gunpoint in June 2009 and ended up killing four bystanders a mile and a half from the robbery, police and city prosecutors contend.
Nearly three years later, the duo is scheduled to stand trial Monday for the robbery and the second-degree murders of Latoya Smith, 22; her daughter, Remedy Smith, 11 months; and neighbors Aaliyah Griffin, 6, and Gina Marie Rosario, 7. After the robbery on the 5400 block of Rising Sun Avenue, Rodriguez, 23, sped in one direction on the bike while Cradock, 21, sped off in a silver Pontiac owned by Rodriguez's girlfriend, police said. While trying to shake a pursuing cop, Cradock lost control of the car and allegedly struck the victims on the sidewalk at 3rd Street near Annsbury in Feltonville. Cradock was paralyzed from the waist down and was in a wheelchair during his last court appearance in December 2009.
'Black Madam' faces hearing
Padge Windslowe, 42, also known as the "Black Madam," is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Wednesday for allegedly injecting silicone into the buttocks of a 23-year-old woman at a so-called "pumping party" in East Germantown in February. The woman nearly died but has recovered.
Windslowe, of West Philadelphia, is also under investigation for allegedly giving a butt injection to a 20-year-old British woman. She is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, deceptive business practices, theft and related counts.
Bros. on trial in death of pregnant woman
Brothers Walter Williams and Robert Canada are scheduled to go on trial Monday in the death of a pregnant woman who died in a melee outside Traffic Court in February 2011. The defendants are charged in the death of Tovoyia Owens, 24, and the assault of her boyfriend, Jules Johnson, 20. Owens was fatally injured outside the court building at 8th and Spring Garden streets after she and Johnson got into a fight with four men.
Williams, 27, is charged with third-degree murder for allegedly twisting her neck to the point that she suffered a fatal vertebral-artery laceration, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. Canada, 30, was charged with aggravated assault for fighting with Johnson. In a previous court hearing, Johnson testified that the fight was over a long feud between Williams and him that started in their West Philadelphia neighborhood.
FEDERAL APPEALS COURT
Drug kingpin to fight sentence
On Thursday, oral arguments begin in the case of convicted drug kingpin George "Cowboy" Martorano, 62, who seeks to overturn his life sentence. Martorano pleaded guilty to various drug offenses in 1984, including running a continuing criminal enterprise, which carried a maximum life-without-parole sentence. The charges, conviction and sentence came before passage of a law in 1984 establishing federal sentencing guidelines.
Martorano is the son of the late old-school mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano, who was shot and killed in 2002.
Martorano contends he received an illegal "general" sentence, a type that has been long disapproved by the U.S. Court of Appeals here in sentencing guidelines cases. n
— Jan Ransom, Mensah M. Dean and Michael Hinkelman contributed to this report.