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DA considering the death penalty for a man accused of deadly shooting his ex-girlfriend and her fetus in Upper Melion

Norristown — Montgomery County prosecutor said a Philadelphia man was first-class murdered in connection with the deadly shooting of his ex-romantic partner and her fetus during a violent attack on Upper Melion. If you are convicted in a trial, you are considering seeking the death penalty.

Rafiq Thompson, 39, did not respond during Thompson’s formal prosecution hearing on murder-related charges, as district attorney Kevin R. Steele revealed possible punishment on Tuesday. The hearing will allow Thompson’s attorney Lawrence Anthony Narcissi III to evaluate the case and determine if there are any mitigation factors to present to Steele before a decision on the death penalty is made. Was postponed after asking for.

Judge William R. Carpenter has rescheduled Thompson’s formal prosecution hearing in August.

It is during a formal inquiry that the prosecutor must inform the judge if he plans to seek the death penalty.

“Under consideration. The defense counsel has given time to present the mitigation situation that the defense counsel wants to consider before making the final decision,” Steele explained on Tuesday.

It is the first time in ten years that a prosecutor has sought the punishment for a murder if he has moved forward in search of the death penalty for Thompson.

Raghunandan Yandamuri, now 36, was convicted of a single murder by a jury in 2014 in connection with the death of 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna and her 10-month-old granddaughter on October 22, 2012. Was sentenced. Saanvi in ​​the Upper Melion apartment complex. Steele, the first assistant district attorney at the time, charged Yandamuri, who is currently on appeal.

Pennsylvania has not executed anyone since 1999.

Governor Tom Wolfe imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in 2015, but prosecutors can still seek the death penalty.

Raffic Thompson, accused of deadly shooting his ex-romantic partner and her fetus, is accompanied by a sheriff’s agent from the Montgomery County Courthouse. (Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.)

Thompson, 800 blocks on North 47th Street in Philadelphia, is suspected of one and three murders, fetal murder, possession of banned firearms, and firearms that cannot be carried without the associated permission. waiting. April 8 deadly shooting of 31-year-old Tamara Cornelius during an attack at the Upper Melion gas station.

An autopsy performed at Cornelius revealed that she had been shot four times and was pregnant for 14 weeks.

The conviction of a first-class murder, a deliberate murder, has sentenced to life imprisonment or the death penalty. A conviction of a third-class murder, a murder with malicious intent or wickedness, has sentenced him to a maximum sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.

In order to obtain the death penalty for a first-class murder conviction, the prosecutor must show that the exacerbating factors (the situation that makes the murder more vicious) outweigh all the mitigation factors (the situation that favors the defendant). It will not be. Specifically, prosecutors have about 18 reliable aggravating factors to seek the death penalty under state law.

“In the event of a primary murder charge, the defendant may be subject to the death penalty. In either case, we will investigate, whether there are any exacerbating factors, and mitigation factors leading up to that decision. I’ll find out if, “said Steele, who is handling the case at co-prosecutor Samantha Arena. “This only happens in the worst case, where the exacerbations far outweigh the mitigations.”

Steele did not comment on the potential exacerbations of the proceedings against Thompson.

Narcissi said he called for Thompson’s prosecution postponement to assess the case, including potential mitigation factors on behalf of Thompson.

“There are additional investigations that need to be confirmed. I need to decide whether to present it to the Commonwealth, whether it is worth presenting to the Commonwealth, I need to prepare them all. There is, “said Narcissi.

Court documents show that the detective reviewed the text messages exchanged between Thompson and Cornelius between January and April. In addition, in a text message, Cornelius identified Thompson as the father of her fetus. The detective was filed in a criminal accusation.

According to the authorities, Thompson sent 93 text messages to Cornelius between April 4th and April 6th, in the days leading up to the alleged fatal conflict with Cornelius. I called 21 times.

On April 8, Thompson sent a text message to Cornelius to invite him to dinner, court documents indicate that he met at the King of Pracha Mall Cheesecake Factory at 9:11 pm. Before Thompson left the restaurant without Cornelius at 9:43 pm, court documents told the detective that the two seemed to be controversial.

Cornelius asked the waiter to pack the food for takeaway, paid the invoice, left the restaurant at 10:15 pm and drove to Exxon station on 113 N. Gulph Road. Thompson allegedly chased the victim to a gas station.

Authorities claimed that Thompson got out of the car, talked briefly to her, and shot her many times as she tried to escape while Cornelius was pumping gas. The deadly shooting was recorded by a gas station surveillance camera, and Steele had previously described the footage as “chilling.”

Upper Melion police were dispatched to Exxon Station at 10:22 pm to report the shooting. They arrived to find Cornelius suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. She was taken to Paoli Hospital, where she was declared dead.

Investigators claimed that Thompson had abandoned a weapon, a black semi-automatic pistol in 400 blocks of South Galfrode, and was recovered by a detective.

According to court documents, Thompson was banned from possessing firearms as a result of his criminal record.

According to court documents, Thompson’s criminal record states that Philadelphia police intensified the assault in 2016 after deliberately driving another ex-girlfriend who was actively protected from abuse orders. Includes being arrested.

According to the arrest affidavit, Thompson was finally found guilty and sentenced to three to six years in prison and 11 years on probation on June 25, 2018 to complete counseling on anger management. I was ordered. Thompson was subject to parole upon completion of the “Batters Group” program and was released on June 30, 2019. He was released on parole during the deadly shooting on April 8.

According to court documents, investigators also determined that Thompson stopped by a drive-through at the McDonald’s restaurant in Baltimore Pike, Clifton Heights, to buy food at 11:49 pm in just one hour during his flight. .. 27 minutes after the deadly shooting.

Thompson later surrendered to the authorities.

DA considering the death penalty for a man accused of deadly shooting his ex-girlfriend and her fetus in Upper Melion

Source link DA considering the death penalty for a man accused of deadly shooting his ex-girlfriend and her fetus in Upper Melion

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