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*    The Columbia Spy has a beautiful post and pictures as Columbia works to heal (click here).


      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!



     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.


     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). 


— 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.


*    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.


      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.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Everybody knows West Hempfield Township police are corrupt and Stedman is right in their back pocket. How could a kid who STOLE A GUN not be charged as this kid is? Stedman does whatever cops tell him to do because that is his biggest voting block. (Other corrupt public officials). If charges can be “changed” or “amended later” then why such a long time to “investigate” Tony Torres’ killing n Lancaster when they knew they were going to let his killer walk THAT NIGHT? Craig Stedman is as corrupt as they come. He’s just hoping it doesn’t come out until after he is elected judge. Its much easier to indict a d.a. than it is a judge. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Stedman thinks he is God.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Stedman and equal justice are incompatible.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lancaster County, it all depends who you are related to, who your friends are, what your surname is and how much money you have. Forget moral or ethical.

  4. huh? says:

    Thank you, thanks for pointing out what I was thinking when I saw the seventeen years old’s mugshot.

    We will probably never know why George Rosado received preferential treatment. We will never see a real mugshot. But we do know that the DA’s office makes their own rules.

  5. Mike emrick says:

    Re: Different charges

    Is it possible that the two young man who did the shooting had juvenile records, which I’m guessing are sealed, that may have impacted the charges/sentencing? Or could be other factors such as mental health treatment history/trauma that was used in the judges ruling?

    • Becky says:

      We aren’t talking about a judge’s decision here. We are talking about the charges the District Attorney’s office brought.

      • Mike emrick says:

        I did mention charges but I agree I misspoke it would be the DAs office to make the charges however, I would think if an individual has borderline intellectual functioning, low IQ, or other intellectual disabilities – the DAs office should be compassionate about those issues when charging an individual w/ a crime.

        • Becky says:

          That is nonsense, Mike, and I will address it tomorrow.

          — On another note – I am sorry I switched up the topic today (and it will be coming) but the DA’s actions are so outrageous I had no choice. And this man wants to be a judge. What a sick, pathetic joke.

  6. Great reporting says:

    Becky wow
    Unbelievable reporting
    You have done such a great job exposing this woman Amber Martin
    of who she is

    It is really scary who is controlling our tax dollars. this woman’s apparently Has issues
    she must live in a fantasy world of lies
    You have exposed Amber Martin

    In Amber Martin’s words On her own Facebook

    I do not have words
    For this Mind set

    I went back To look at
    all of your Articles together
    On Amber Martin
    That’s when it really hits you of who Lancaster’ County Treasury
    Amber Martin is

    You’re reporting on
    July the 23rd The 24 the 25th 26 the, 28th
    July 30th and the 31st

    When you look at all of the articles together in Amber Martin’s name from Her own Facebook
    Is really very concerning who this person is
    Not to mention you have reported that Amber Martin did not take out insurance or bonds
    To protect our tax dollars After she was exposed she try to do a cover up

    Plus all of her husband’s Bad Behavior

    Somebody really needs to Tell these 2 individuals
    to resign immediately
    They are such an embarrassment to Lancaster’ county

    Thank you so much for your reporting and exposing who she is

    Whoever is running against Scott and Amber Martin in the next election pass on all of this articles To them so
    They can use
    This information
    To campaign against the Martin’s

    Great reporting Becky

  7. Potential Fraud says:

    Most of these people are relatives
    Trevino, her Mother and lives in Baltimore
    Amy is her sister and lives in Baltimore
    Fiona Miller is a familiar name. I believe she is President of one of the homeowners Associations that Amber deals with
    My bet, the other 2 names (Patrick and Aaron) are consultants of nothing, just like Miller.
    I am not accusing, but, HOA’s are known to be people with very dishonest objectives. I have seen “consultants” which typically are people in a role to get a cut of the contract. I have seen it many times.


  8. Crooked detector says:

    I work in the courthouse
    She comes to work, my guess 30% of the time
    But she loves giving her hard working clerks massages and meals on taxpayer money
    She never disclosed the potential conflict on her “businesses” until asked about it after being in office 2 years
    Then she never insured our tax dollars
    That tells you how experienced she is, no experience, and plays off crooked “State Senator” Scott Martin … this is a shame

  9. my goodness says:

    Where is this company headquartered? Is she receiving CRIZ or any other type of small business money? There has to be a “free money” angle here.

  10. my goodness says:

    Is she getting some type of fed tax write off for this bogus company?