Fraud probed in Bensalem schools
The Bensalem School District and Bensalem police are investigating several school employees who allegedly submitting falsified time sheets for work they never performed.
"Certain employees in the facilities department ... have been found to have engaged in wrongdoing by falsifying time records and collecting wages that they did not earn or deserve," Superintendent David E. Baugh said Wednesday in a statement.
Two employees have resigned — their names were withheld — and Baugh said he was considering disciplinary options and dismissal for others. The investigation started with an anonymous tip, he said.
The district notified police of the allegations, prompting their investigation, Public Safety Director Frederick Harran said.— Bill Reed and Frank Kummer
1978 killer to remain in state hospital
Richard Greist, the Chester County man who attacked family members in a drug-fueled psychotic rage in 1978, was ordered recommitted for another year to Norristown State Hospital, where he has been for 32 years.
County Court Judge Edward Griffith concluded in a seven-page opinion that Greist was still a danger to himself or others and was not taking his psychiatric counseling seriously enough.
Deputy District Attorney Peter Hobart said Greist had refused to submit to an interview by a prosecution psychiatrist, skipped his hearing, and has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to have the mental health proceedings moved there.
In May 1978, Greist stabbed his wife to death, cut their unborn son from her body and mutilated it, stabbed his grandmother and gouged out his then 5-year-old daughter's eye. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity. — Kathy Boccella
Judge refuses to cut bail in tires case
Despite kind words spoken about David Toledo by his mother, wife and attorney Thursday, a Philadelphia judge refused to reduce the Mayfair man's bail of more than $260,000. The judge set July 12 as the date Toledo, 44, will be tried for allegedly slashing 47 his neighbors' car tires.
Municipal Court Judge Bradley K. Moss dismissed several felony charges because the dollar amount in damages in those cases was too small.
Defense attorney William Brennan had asked Moss to reduce his client's bail to $26,000 because of his ties to the community and lack of a serious prior criminal record.
"I understand this is not your average bear," Brennan said of the case. "But what has been set is tantamount to ransom. It's too high."— Mensah M. Dean
Boy, 16, killed in hail of bullets
A 16-year-old boy was fatally wounded in a hail of bullets Wednesday night in West Philadelphia, police said.
The teen, whose name was not released, died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was taken in a police patrol car after being shot multiple times around 8:10 p.m. Wednesday while walking out of Koury Grocery, 62d and Callowhill Streets.
Events began, police said, when a group of four teens, including the victim, were in the neighborhood visiting one of their aunts. They were asked to go to Koury's for some food. The victim went inside while three others waited outside on the corner, police said.
When the victim walked out of the store, a Pontiac — which police said may have been black or green — pulled up to the corner. The passenger rolled his window down and fired two shots, hitting a wall. The shooter paused and then fired three more shots at the group, said Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives. The victim was shot twice in the head, once in the left side of his chest, and once in his left arm, police said.— Phillip Lucas
Experts: Johnson's DNA on body
Experts in forensic science testified Wednesday that the DNA of Donte Johnson, the 20-year-old man charged with the June 2010 rape and murder of Sabina Rose O'Donnell, linked him conclusively to O'Donnell's death. Johnson's DNA profile matched semen found on several places on O'Donnell's body, said Gregory Van Alstine, a forensic scientist with the police crime lab, and O'Donnell's blood was found on a shirt Johnson wore on the night of her death.
Johnson's attorney, Gary Server, sought to highlight possible flaws with DNA testing, asking if it was possible that the DNA belonged to someone who had the same DNA profile as Johnson. Van Alstine said that was so unlikely as to be scientifically impossible.
Server also sought to cast doubt on the exactitude of the DNA match between Johnson and the sample from the crime scene, saying scientists ultimately draw final conclusions based on their opinions. — Allison Steele