Ex-officers' trial in theft of services to go to jury
The defense and prosecution rested their cases Monday in the trial of two former Philadelphia police officers accused of stealing utility services at properties they owned in the city.
Former Police Lt. Aisha Perry and former Officer George Suarez are accused in Common Pleas Court of theft of services and related charges. Prosecutors say they siphoned off electricity, gas, and water service.
Assistant District Attorney Terri Domsky, displaying a yellow flex hose used for gas appliances, told jurors that Perry and Suarez bypassed gas, electric, and water meters at a drug rehab facility they owned on Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia and at three homes they owned in North and Northeast Philadelphia.
"It just so happened that a fairy went around" and altered the meters at those properties, Domsky said. "They got caught red-handed."
After testimony from several police officers and other character witnesses, Suarez's attorney, Brian McMonagle, said Suarez and Perry were respected veteran police officers who owned properties. "They are prepared to run to the sound of gunshots," McMonagle said.
Perry's lawyer, Tariq El-Shabazz, argued that Perry was unaware of any utility meters that had been tampered with.
Both defense lawyers said the evidence against their clients was circumstantial.
"There is no evidence that she had any knowledge that there was any bypass" on the utility meters, El-Shabazz said of Perry.
He told the jurors, "If you have more questions than answers, you have reasonable doubt."Jurors are expected to begin deliberations today.