GUEST: GEORGE ANASTASIA
This Monday the former North Philly cocaine kingpin Kaboni Savage was sentenced to death by legal injection for 12 murders and a witness retaliation conviction. One of the most violent details that came out of the trial was a 2004 North Philly firebombing of a house of the mother of one of his associates. Savage, already serving 30 years for a drug trafficking charge, in order to prevent his former ally testifying against him, ordered the fire that killed two women and four children, ranging from 15 months to 15 years of age. In addition to the death sentence, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick ordered Savage 10 years for arson, a life prison term for racketeering conspiracy, and 10 years for conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering. Veteran crime reporter, GEORGE ANASTASIA, comes in to describe what he saw at the trial and discusses what this story means to the Philadelphia’s culture of witness intimidation and political corruption, and how the North Philly underworld compares with Philadelphia’s Costa Nostra, which Anastasia has covered for decades.
Photo: U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid, at podium, makes remarks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 8, 2009. Federal authorities say Kaboni Savage, a convicted drug kingpin is charged with murder for allegedly ordering the setting of a house fire 4½ years ago that killed six people, including four children, in retaliation for an informant’s testimony. Magid is accompanied, from left, by Department of the Treasury supervisory special agent Gregory Floyd, assistant Assistant U. S. Attorneys David E. Troyer, and Christine E. Sykes, Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge Janice K. Fedarcyk and Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)