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High profile Cases

Feltonville Shooting

Three men who were filmed being beaten and kicked by Philadelphia police last year were found not guilty today on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and conspiracy.

Dwayne Dyches, 26; Brian Hall, 24; and Pete Hopkins, 20, were charged in a May 5, 2008, shoot-out in the city’s Feltonville section in which three people were wounded.

The three men allegedly led police on a 21/2-mile chase that ended when police yanked them from Hall’s Mercury Grand Marquis near Second and Pike Streets, then beat and kicked them as a Fox29 helicopter captured the scene on tape.

After the verdict was announced, the packed courtroom erupted in cheers from the defendants’ supporters.

“We obviously pleased with the verdict. There were a lot of inconsistencies . . . and I’m glad the jury saw it that way,” said the attorney for Hopkins, Mary T. Maran.

In closing arguments yesterday, Mary said the lone witness to the shoot-out gave conflicting reports that could not be trusted.

In addition, Maran said the “media frenzy” that resulted from the televised beating created a “major problem” for Philadelphia police that could be fixed only if all three men were prosecuted for attempted murder.

This matter concluded with the successful civil rights suit against the City of Philadelphia for the excessive force used by police officers.

The Body Parts Case

In a nationally recognized matter, the Philadelphia Grand Jury brought indictments in a body harvesting scheme in which three Philadelphia Funeral Home operators who owned a crematory conspired with a tissue recovery business to harvest and sell body tissue from corpses for transplantation. Authorities say Maran’s client was the lead cutter in a group that trafficked in more than 1,000 stolen body parts for the lucrative transplant tissue market. Client was accused of cutting body parts from 244 corpses and helped forge paperwork so the parts, some of them diseased, could be used in transplant patients.

Results: after countless hours of negotiations, Maran convinced prosecutors that client deserved no further jail time beyond what he was serving for New York courts for the tissue harvesting in that jurisdiction.

Lincoln Gang Rape

This high profile prosecution involved allegations of a gang rape at Lincoln University brought against 4 fellow students. The prosecution said the victim in the case, an 18-year-old freshman at the southern Chester County school, was so intoxicated that she did not realize what had happened to her that night, let alone give her consent to having sex with the three defendants. The question is not “whether she doesn’t remember,” said attorney Mary T. Maran of Philadelphia, who represents Eric Goodwin, but rather “whether she doesn’t want to admit that she had group sex. It is crude. It is crass. It is not loving. But is it illegal? No.”

Maran told the jurors that the sex that night had been consensual, and that the woman had not thought to complain to authorities until prodded by her girlfriends.

Results: Mid way through jury trial, Maran brought a successful challenge against the prosecutor for with holding exculpatory evidence. Motion for Mistrial with Prejudice granted.

Client was charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder for shooting decedent at close range and then firing 8 shots at decedent’s three friends across the street. Theory of defense: self defense. After five day jury trial, clients found Not Guilty of all charges.

Additional Cases

  • Client Charged with Attempted Murder after being identified by complainant as firing 5 shots at him from close range, injuring him profoundly. Theory of defense: mis-identification. After five day jury trial, client found Not Guilty of all charges.
  • Client charged with Attempted Murder after shoot-out erupts between client’s family and neighbor’s family. Theory of defense: self-defense. After 5 day jury trial, client found Not Guilty of all charges.
  • Client charged with Trafficking over 3 kilos of cocaine in parcel interdiction case. Theory of defense: client lacked knowledge, dominion and control of the the contents of the parcel. After 5 day jury trial, client found Not Guilty of all charges
  • Client charged with attempted murder and Conspiracy for the retaliatory shooting of the individual known to have shot and injured an infant. Theory of defense: police investigation lacked reliability. After 5 day jury trial, client found Not Guilty of all charges./¬†Successfully suppressed the weapon and drugs that same client was charged with possessing several months prior to the attempted murder arrest
  • Client charged with possessing over 1lb of cocain found in the tool box client was observed carrying from a house to his car, where the police seized it in the seat next to client. Theory of defense: client lacked knowledge of the contents of the tool box. After 5 day jury trial, client found Not Guilty of all charges
  • Client charged with forcibly raping woman at party. Theory of defense: complainant’s fabrication of the allegation was rooted in her regret of her own behavior. After five day jury trial, client found Not Guilty of all charges.
  • College student accused of forcible rape of complainant at party. Theory of defense: complainant fabricated allegations. After thorough investigation of multiple witnesses and after presenting or offering to present witnesses to prosecutor and after offer to submit to Voice Stress Test, all charges were withdrawn prior to preliminary hearing.