A jury acquitted two southwest Philadelphia men following a week-long trial in the Court of Common Pleas.  On the night of January 11, 2016 police arrested Damien Richards-Wishop and Jamire Drummond and charged them with aggravated assault, conspiracy, and possessing an instrument of crime.  The government alleged that the defendants went to the house of the complainant around one in the morning and confronted him outside his home.  A verbal argument led to a physical fight that left both the complainant and Mr. Richards-Wishop with serious stab wounds. 

            Police found a knife in the defendant’s vehicle following the fight.  Both the complainant and the defendant testified.  They told similar stories.  Each said he had been attacked by the other man who was armed with a knife.  Each man claimed he was stabbed by the other and then wrestled the knife away from his attacker and used it on him in self-defense.

            Mr. Richards-Wishop was represented at trial by Joshua Scarpello of the Law Offices of Scarpello & LaTour.  Through questioning on cross-examination, Mr. Scarpello caught the complainant and his wife in numerous lies. Mr. Scarpello presented multiple eyewitnesses that contradicted the complainant’s version of events.  Scarpello also questioned his client on direct as he walked the jury through his side of the story. In addition, Mr. Scarpello called multiple witnesses to testify as to his client’s reputation in the community for being peaceful, law-abiding, and honest.

            The case came down to credibility.  Mr. Scarpello argued that his client acted in self-defense.  He argued that the believable testimony came from the defense witnesses.  He explained to the jury how physical evidence supported and corroborated his client’s story.  He presented evidence of good-character to bolster his client’s credibility.  Ultimately the jury agreed and acquitted both defendants.

            The defendants in this case would have gone to jail if they lost.  The stakes could not have been higher for them and their families.  They had a compelling story to tell but they needed help telling it. If you have been charged with a crime of assault or murder or any other felony crime you need lawyers who are ready to fight in the courtroom.  Attorneys at The Law Offices of Scarpello & LaTour have over 30 years of courtroom experience.  Pierre LaTour and Josh Scarpello are both former prosecutors from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.  Let them put their experience to work for you.  Call or email to receive a free consultation.

Police brutality an ever increasing problem

Police brutality an ever increasing problem

The police have been in the news a lot recently, and most of the news has been bad.  Is police brutality a rapidly increasing problem, or has the rise of cell phone video and social media merely brought the problem from the streets to the front pages?

Has Pennsylvania really closed the gun permit loophole?

Has Pennsylvania really closed the gun permit loophole?

The current District Attorney’s office has made it clear that one of its main priorities is to crack down on guns in the city of Philadelphia.  There has been a surge in police arrests relating to firearms in recent years and many citizens who have attempted to remain on the right side of the law of been swept up in the crack down.

Important update from the PA Superior Court regarding the use of blood tests in DUI cases statewide.

Important update from the PA Superior Court  regarding the use of blood tests in DUI cases statewide.

One of the most powerful pieces of evidence that police and law enforcement can use in a DUI case against you is a breathalyzer or blood draw.  In either case, if your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, .08% in PA, you face criminal prosecution that could result in heavy fines, loss of your driver’s license and possibly jail time.