Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Nike Factory Life sentences for two in Phil

Life sentences for two in Phila

Darryl Rigney said he had the car and Montez Bethea the idea: “I know where to score some marijuana.” Score proved to be an understatement.
When Bethea and another friend, Rashaan James, left the house in the 3000 block of Redner Street in Brewerytown, Rigney testified, they took with them a plastic trash bag containing 12 pounds of marijuana and three handguns. And they left behind two bodies.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson convicted Bethea and James of first degree murder in the Dec. 8, 2010, shootin Nike Factory gs of Jemark Glenn Miller Daniel and girlfriend Petranella London, both 24.

Bronson called the case “a senseless killing of two young people who were slaughtered over a trash bag full of marijuana.”

“I didn’t do it,” protested Bethea, 34, before the judge imposed two consecutive life prison terms without parole. “I just feel you did not go by the facts of the case.”

Bronson said he had listened to those facts, “and they prove that you did do it.”

James, 35, waved the fingers of one hand dismissively and said, “No,” when Bronson asked whether he had anything to say. James received the identical sentence.

Rigney, 35, pleaded guilty this year to two counts of third degree murder in exchange for a prison term of 19 to 38 years and his promise to testify for the prosecution in Bethea’s and James’ trial.

Bethea and James opted for a nonjury trial to escape the possibility of the death penalty.

“I don’t understand this,” said a weeping London’s mother, Irma, afterward. “They took a mother, they took a daughter, they took a husband. They took a whole village.”

Assistant District Attorney Richard Sax said London and Daniel were immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago. Daniel was living in the Redner Street house where they were killed, and London was visiting for her boyfriend’s birthday, Sax said.

Daniel did not have family at the trial, and Sax said his office was unable to locate relatives.

Bethea’s attorney, David Rudenstein, and James’ attorney, William Bowe, had argued that there was no proof the two men killed Daniel and London and that Rigney’s testimony sho Nike Factory could not be trusted.

“I call this ‘Rigney’s Believe It or Not,’ ” Rudenstein said.

According to testimony, a neighbor of Daniel saw three black men in a white Cadillac speed away from the house shortly before the bodies were found.

Coincidentally, narcotics officers staking out a drug house in the 1800 block of Judson Street watched a white Cadillac pull up and three black males go inside, then heard police radio reports of the shooting at nearby Redner Street.

Sax said police saw James leaving the Judson Street house in a silver Kia. After he was stopped, police saw a bag containing six pounds of marijuana worth $50,000 in the backseat. Rigney and Bethea were arrested Nike Factory inside the house, where police found the t Nike Factory rash bag with the remainder of the marijuana and three guns, as well as three old passports from Trinidad and Tobago belonging to Daniel.

Rudenstein and Bowe tried unsuccessfully to persuade Bronson to throw out the evidence against the two men, arguing that police did not have probable cause to search James’ Kia or the Judson Street house.