* The Columbia Spy has a beautiful post and pictures as Columbia works to heal (click here).
NOT EQUAL JUSTICE!
Let’s put the DA’s press releases next to each other. On the left is the DA’s press release on the shooting death of Ibram Hanna on August 12, 2016 in Mountville. On the right is the beginning of the press release on the shooting death of Nicholas Mills two days ago in Columbia.
Tomorrow: DA spokesman Brett Hambright’s apparent “explanation” of the huge disparity in the charges in these two cases. This is an outrage. This is not equal justice!
TOTALLY DIFFERENT CHARGES – 2
This is the beginning of Brett Hambright’s press release on the shooting death in Columbia on Monday (click here for the original).
CORRECTION: The victim, Nicholas Mills, was 19.
A 17-year boy is charged with third-degree murder regarding a fatal shooting Monday night in Columbia.
Antonio Acosta, of Columbia, was arraigned Tuesday morning and remanded to Lancaster County Prison.
Nicholas Mills, 19, was pronounced dead Monday night after being shot at a home in the 100 block of North Third Street. After being shot, he collapsed outside the home.
Acosta also is charged with involuntary manslaughter. He is charged as an adult.
The investigation is ongoing. Charges could be added or amended in the future. The charges filed at this time are based on information gathered so far.
Columbia police and Lancaster County Detectives, in consultation with the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, are investigating the incident. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ponessa approved the charges.
The victim was shot by Acosta once in the upper body.
Several people were at the apartment at the time of the incident and have been interviewed by detectives. The shooter and victim were acquaintances; everyone at the home Monday night was familiar with one another.
TOTALLY DIFFERENT CHARGES
The below is DA spokesman Brett Hambright’s press release on the shooting death of Ibram Hanna in Mountville on August 12 of 2016 (click here for the original on CrimeWatch). Let’s compare this to the charges against the shooter in the almost identical shooting death in Columbia two days ago.
A 17-year-old boy is charged in a deadly shooting Friday morning in Mountville.
West Hempfield Township police on Friday night charged the boy with misdemeanor counts of involuntary manslaughter, theft from a vehicle and drug paraphernalia, and a felony count of theft of a firearm.
A 15-year-old West Hempfield Township boy died of a single gunshot. The shooting happened at the older boy’s home on West Main Street, Mountville. Police responded to a 9-1-1 call at 10:45 a.m.
Police determined the older boy stole the firearm from a vehicle at a location in West Hempfield Township.
The investigation is ongoing. At this point, police have found nothing to indicate the shooting was intentional. The two boys were friends and were looking at the gun prior to the shot being fired.
Police continue to gather evidence and interview individuals.
West Hempfield Township police Detective Sergeant Chris Kunkle filed the charges, with approval from First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen.
Involuntary manslaughter involves a death that results from a reckless or grossly negligent act.
The 17-year-old boy will be prosecuted in the juvenile court system. Under the Juvenile Act, a person charged with involuntary manslaughter can not be charged and prosecuted as an adult.
*** In other words, bail should never be the sole factor that keeps a person locked up pretrial and judges have a legal obligation to consider whether an individual can afford the bail they set or whether they are effectively locking up a person for being poor.
From the ACLU article, “Why won’t Philadelphia follow the rules when setting bail?” (click here).
BAIL IS NOT PUNISHMENT
— FROM $50,00 TO $40,000 CASH —
Judge Howard Knisely Ashley Gaston
** Bail is not punishment. Bail is set to insure that the accused shows up to court when required.
Ashley Gaston has several children and does not appear to have the means to take off and flee her charges.
Gaston is sitting in Lancaster County Prison on your dime for kicking and stomping a dog that she claimed bit her child (one of the only recent crimes the Lancaster Police Department has “solved”).
Her bail was originally set at $50,000 cash mostly because of the public outcry over the video of her kicking the dog. On July 19th her public defender, Phillip Aaron Michael, filed a Motion for Modification of Bail. Judge Howard Knisely granted the modification on the same date and revised her bail to $40,000 cash bail (see below).
I am not kidding. Where is this woman going to get $40,000? If she could possibly afford a bail bondsman to post it for her, she will be in debt to them for years.
This is ridiculous and disgusting. Bail is not punishment. Someone needs to tell that to these Lancaster County Judges and District Attorney Craig Stedman.
A NASTY LIAR!
* I interrupt today’s topic to point out that DA Spokesman Brett Hambright is a nasty liar. That story will be coming later this week.
A FAMILY AFFAIR?
How large a business is Woo-Cat Management? How many employees do they have? How many clients do they have?
Who is doing the day to day work? How does the Lancaster County Treasurer, Amber Martin, juggle her private companies and her taxpayer paid job to collect taxes?
What qualifications does Amber Martin have to be the Lancaster County Treasurer?
Please check back later today.