A budding cop killer UPDATED
From Philly.com (photo from Daily News) (the story itself was from the Inquirer, was hard to tell online without bylines):
WHILE OTHER KIDS his age played video games or rode bikes, Daniel Giddings was out committing felonies. At age 10, he beat up and robbed a mentally challenged man, court records show.
"Neighbors told his mom when he was 10 years old she should buy a black dress now," Assistant District Attorney Joseph Coolican told a judge in 2000 just before Giddings, then 18, was sentenced in a 1998 carjacking case in which he shot the victim in both kneecaps.
At the time, Coolican told the judge that in his four years of prosecuting violent thugs, he'd never seen a defendant more likely to commit a crime again, according to a court transcript.
"I'm telling [the judge], he'll never be a safe person, never let him back on the street," Coolican recalled yesterday in a phone interview.
Common Pleas Judge Lynn Bennett-Hamlin, who deemed Giddings' juvenile record "appalling," could have sentenced him to a maximum 45 years in prison. Instead, she gave him six to 12 years on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of a crime.
State prison and parole officials could have kept Giddings behind bars for the entire 12 years. Instead they let him free after 10 years, despite his record of bad behavior in and out of jail.
RIP, Ofcr. Patrick McDonald. Sorry that revolving-door justice cost you your life, and Philly another dedicated public servant.
Good luck sleeping at night, your honor.
At least this dirtbag Giddings got what he deserved.
A couple other interesting passages from the Inquirer's piece:
Ramsey said the Pennsylvania Probation and Parole Board owed the families of McDonald and Officer Richard Bowes, 36, whom Giddings shot and wounded before being killed, an explanation for Giddings' release.
Giddings, who police said was charged 27 times with disciplinary problems in prison and spent 537 days in solitary confinement, was granted parole last year on the recommendation of prison officials, according to the parole board's ruling.
The commish is right, but they probably owe the family more than an apology.
The family complained that Giddings was unfairly described in the news media.
"They acted like he wasn't loving and didn't care about his family," Latanya Giddings said while clutching a photo of her brother lying at the morgue. "They make us hate them."
Anne Williams, 33, who identified herself as Giddings' girlfriend, said: "He loved children. He wasn't bad."
Another woman, Sheena Faison, 29, who identified herself as a best friend of Giddings, said: "He was not an animal. He had a good heart."
That sound you hear is that of a tongue being bitten, hard.