Crime near Main Campus so far this year has included between 10-15 robberies and a murder. Now, several of the suspects taken in for those crimes are moving through Philadelphia’s court system.
After Temple Police arrest a suspect, the suspect is taken to Philadelphia Police’s Central Detective Division and waits for a preliminary arraignment, which is conducted through CCTV cameras. An available attorney from the District Attorney Charging Unit then interviews complainants and witnesses, Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said.
That attorney decides what the charges against the suspect will be, before the Philadelphia Arraignment Reporting System decides to set bail, and if so, for how much. A misdemeanor goes to trial, while felonies receive a preliminary hearing, a practice mostly unique to Philadelphia, Leone said.
There have also been crimes that did not go to court. In these cases, many times the complainant decided not to press charges.
“Sometimes as cases go on, you might get a lack of a prosecution because a student doesn’t want to be involved,” Leone said. “There could [also] be a place where a DA says they don’t see enough evidence to charge a suspect.”
Randolph Sanders, 36, was charged with the Jan. 13 murder of his 56-year-old coworker Kim Jones at a bus stop at 12th and Jefferson streets. In a Wednesday hearing, the court set his trial for March 11.
Adama Kurneh, 32 of Mount Airy, was arrested in connection to one robbery and two attempted robberies in October. The first, on the 1400 block of Diamond Street, left one victim lacerated from a box cutter. The second occurred later that day on the 1500 block of North Broad Street. The third robbery, of a student, happened in the parking lot of the Progress Plaza parking lot amid evening shopping. After each robbery, the suspects fled in a car, police said.
Kurneh, the owner of the car used in the attempted robberies, faced both a preliminary arraignment and a preliminary hearing before having a formal arraignment on Dec. 4. The charges against her included aggravated assault and robbery by inflicting serious bodily injury, referring to the box cutter.
She also has a history of criminal activity during the past five years, including retail theft and retaliation against witnesses or victims. She is currently serving her sentence at the Riverside Correctional Facility in Holmesburg.
Edward Randall, 19 of Kensington, was arrested Feb. 7 in connection with the robbery of a student on 18th and Berks streets on the same day. Randall faced a preliminary arraignment the next day with charges including unlawful carrying of a firearm and simple assault. It is the first crime that he has been charged with.
Randall is currently being held in a county jail, awaiting a preliminary hearing that is scheduled to take place Tuesday. Randall is being represented by a public defender.
A 22-year-old student was shot in an attempted robbery in the 1500 block of North 17th Street on Nov. 8. Derek Hancock, 45, from Olney, was arrested Nov. 21. Hancock faced a preliminary arraignment, two preliminary hearing dates, and was formally arraigned Feb. 13 under charges including recklessly endangering another person and aggravated assault.
Hancock has committed several crimes in the past 10 years, including retail theft and simple assault. Like Randall, he was also represented by a public defender and is currently serving his sentence at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Holmesburg.
Lian Parsons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.