Criminal courts reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer; writer, Crime & Punishment blog for philly.com, Inquirer.com

Prosecution rests in case of 1989 rape-murders of two women

philly.com — The prosecution has ended its case in the Philadelphia trial of Rudolph Churchill, the South Jersey man accused of rape and murder in the 1989 stranglings of two North Philadelphia women after his DNA allegedly was identified on quarter-century-old evidence. - Joseph A. Slobodzian, Philadelphia Inquirer

Defense argues suspect DNA left in 1989 'cold case' murder trial could be coincidental

philly.com — The prosecution alleges that the killer of Cheryl Hanible in 1989 left behind "touch" DNA when he removed the lace from one of her sneakers and used it to strangle her. And that DNA, Philadelphia Police DNA analyst Bryne Strother testified Wednesday, almost certainly came from 54-year-old Rudolph Churchill of Paulsboro, Gloucester County.

Ex-inmate says Churchill admitted to 1989 rape-murders of two N. Phila. women

philly.com — An ex-Philadelphia prison inmate testified Tuesday that Rudolph Churchill admitted raping and killing two North Philadelphia women in 1989 and bemoaned the fact that he would have gotten away with it but for DNA. Richard Simmons, 44, described an April 2014 conversation he said he had with Churchill in a day room in the city's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Center.

Defense challenges DNA identification in 1989 'cold case' murder trial

philly.com — A defense lawyer on Monday challenged the integrity of the evidence used for DNA testing that led to charges against a South Jersey man in the 1989 rape-murders of two North Philadelphia women.

Friend of 1989 rape-murder victim says defendant 'looks familiar'

philly.com — Back in 1989, said Cheryle Dowling, when she was hooked on crack cocaine and part of a group of young North Philadelphia women looking for cash for their next fix, there was this guy named "Rudy."

Testimony begins in trial of man accused of raping and killing two N. Philly women in 1989

philly.com — Ruby Ellis and Cheryl Hanible were raped and strangled in 1989 in a part of North Philadelphia since obliterated by redevelopment. But the tears of their relatives flowed anew Wednesday as testimony began in the Philadelphia trial of Rudolph Churchill, the South Jersey man DNA allegedly linked to their slayings a quarter-century later.

DA withdraws charges against suspect in 1998 murder, dismemberment

philly.com — The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office withdrew all charges Tuesday against the suspect in a grisly 1998 murder and dismemberment at a Chinatown restaurant because the key witnesses against him have returned to China and were unavailable to testify against him. - Joseph A. Slobodzian, Philadelphia Inquirer

Fairhill man gets long sentence for role in fatal carjacking crash

philly.com — For most people, the 21st birthday is the official beginning of adulthood. When Jonathan Rosa turned 21 Thursday, it marked his official entry into the netherworld of the state prison system: He was given a 45-to-90-year sentence for his role in the 2014 carjacking that ended in a horrific crash that killed a mother and her three children as they sold fruit on a North Philadelphia sidewalk.

Fool for a client?

philly.com — Abraham Lincoln is said to have remarked that "a man who represents himself has a fool for a client." That may be true but the U.S. Supreme Court and the criminal court system allows -- with a judge's approval - a person accused of a crime to defend themselves at trial.

Philly court aide waives hearing on drug charges

philly.com — A Philadelphia courtroom aide accused last month of selling drugs from his West Philadelphia home on Tuesday waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges in Philadelphia Municipal Court. The move by Edward Campbell, 38, means that the three drugs counts against him will proceed directly to trial in Common Pleas Court.
More Articles →
Apr 28, 2016

Prosecution rests, defense to begin in Philly trial of SJ man linked by DNA to 1989 rape and slayings of 2 N Philly women. More coming.Prosecution rests, defense to begin in Philly trial of SJ man linked by DNA to 1989 rape and slayings of 2 N Philly women. More coming.

Apr 28, 2016

Philly PD DNA expert continues testifying in trial of S Jersey man in 1989 rape-murders of 2 N Philly women. bit.ly/1XX1GH5

Apr 25, 2016

Defense challenges DNA evidence in Philly coldcase trial of man in '89 rape-murders of 2 women in N Philly. bit.ly/1QxkKWq

Apr 25, 2016

Pros. testimony resumes in Philly trial of '89 coldcase slayings of 2 N Philly women. Def. Rudolph Churchill linked thru DNA in 2014 to bothPros. testimony resumes in Philly trial of '89 coldcase slayings of 2 N Philly women. Def. Rudolph Churchill linked thru DNA in 2014 to both

Apr 22, 2016

Philly trial resumes Mon. in cold-case trial of NJ man linked by DNA to 1989 rape-stranglings of 2 N Philly women. bit.ly/23OBXaF

Apr 21, 2016

Familiar face? Friend of '89 N Philly rape-murder victim recalls 'Rudy' from the block. Is it Rudolph Churchill? bit.ly/22Rc0S0

Apr 20, 2016

'Where were you in 1989?' Philly ADA opens rape-murder trial of Rudolph Churchill, tied by DNA in 2014 in deaths of 2 N Philly women. MoreTK'Where were you in 1989?' Philly ADA opens rape-murder trial of Rudolph Churchill, tied by DNA in 2014 in deaths of 2 N Philly women. MoreTK

Apr 19, 2016

Suspect in '98 Chinatown murder, dismemberment goes free after Philly DA says key witnesses have returned to China. bit.ly/22LkAle

Apr 19, 2016

Philly DA withdraws all charges against suspect in 1998 murder, dismemberment in Chinatown restaurant. More coming.Philly DA withdraws all charges against suspect in 1998 murder, dismemberment in Chinatown restaurant. More coming.


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