Lawyer: Man charged in alleged homeless scam should be freed

In this Nov. 17, 2017, file photo, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., (left), Kate McClure, (right), and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia.  McClure and D'Amico, who raised more than $400,000 for Bobbitt Jr., a homeless man after he used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of a stranded motorist in Philadelphia must now turn over what’s left of the cash. A New Jersey judge issued the order Thursday, Aug. 30,  during a hearing on the lawsuit brought by Bobbitt, who worries D'Amico and McClure have mismanaged a large part of the donations raised for him on GoFundMe. The couple deny those claims, saying they're wary of giving Bobbitt large sums because they fear he would buy drugs. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

In this Nov. 17, 2017, file photo, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., (left), Kate McClure, (right), and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia. McClure and D'Amico, who raised more than $400,000 for Bobbitt Jr., a homeless man after he used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of a stranded motorist in Philadelphia must now turn over what’s left of the cash. A New Jersey judge issued the order Thursday, Aug. 30, during a hearing on the lawsuit brought by Bobbitt, who worries D'Amico and McClure have mismanaged a large part of the donations raised for him on GoFundMe. The couple deny those claims, saying they're wary of giving Bobbitt large sums because they fear he would buy drugs. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

A judge may soon decide whether to free a homeless man from Philadelphia who allegedly schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam GoFundMe donors out of more than $400,000.

Johnny Bobbitt made his first court appearance in the matter on Friday. Burlington County prosecutors argued he should remain jailed until his trial, while his public defender is seeking Bobbitt’s release.

The judge could make a decision Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her former boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, to concoct a feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. They raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

McClure’s lawyer has said she was duped by D’Amico, while his lawyer has denied such claims.

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