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South Philly Safe Injection Site Lease Canceled; Collingswood Burglar Arrest; Murder-For-Hire Plot
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 02/28/20 12:46 am | updated: 02/28/20 1:06 am
 
Plans to open a safe injection site in South Philadelphia have been shelved after the building owner, Constitution Health Plaza, canceled the lease. "We have made the decision to cancel plans to locate a supervised injection site at Constitution Health Plaza," the facility said in a statement to tenants, partners, and friends. "We believe in the good intentions of all involved - on both sides of this issue - and want to thank you for your honest communications with us over the past few days. We want you to know that we have listened. We apologize. And we want to ensure open lines of communication moving forward." The non-profit Safehouse announced on Wednesday, 2/26, that it would be opening the first in the nation site as early as next week after United States District Court Judge Gerald A. McHugh entered a final order on Tuesday, 2/25, ruling that an injection site does not violate federal law.

Safehouse officials were bombarded by community members and others at a contentious press conference saying they were blindsided and felt ambushed by the placement of this site. At least for the moment, their fears will be calmed. Mayor Jim Kenney said, "In light of this development and the strong concerns voiced over the past two days, it's clear that no site will open imminently. I am glad that this will allow Safehouse more time to examine its options, and to engage the community. It will allow those with concerns more time to get answers. And it will allow everyone to take a deep breath and focus on the ultimate goal of this effort: to save the lives of fellow Philadelphians who are struggling with addiction."

U.S. Attorney William McSwain is appealing Judge McHugh's ruling to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He also filed for a stay of the order until the appeal is heard, to prevent a site from being opened in the meantime. City Council members had also started working on Thursday, 2/27, on other methods to slow down the process before news that the lease was canceled.

Camden County prosecutors have arrested and charged a homeless man in a violent home invasion and arson, as well as two other burglaries the day before in Collinswood, NJ, over last weekend. 36-year-old Bernard Miller is charged with attempted murder, two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree aggravated arson, second-degree burglary, second-degree aggravated assault, two counts of criminal restraint, fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and third-degree burglary. He is accused of breaking into a home on Sunday afternoon, 2/23, on the 200 block of Crestmont Terrace. He attacked one male resident and tied up a female resident. He then set the home on fire before leaving. The female freed herself and escaped. Firefighters found the male suffering from the assault inside. They were both taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Miller is also accused of two separate burglaries in the area on Saturday morning/afternoon. He was caught on surveillance video wearing a distinctive multi-colored jacket. Detectives tracked him to a homeless shelter in Camden. He was also in possession of some of the stolen items. He is currently being held at the Camden County Jail pending a detention hearing.

A former youth pastor at a Chester County church who is currently serving time for sexually assaulting and impregnating a teenage girl is now accused of a murder-for-hire plot from behind bars. 37-year-old Jacob Malone was charged on Tuesday, 2/25, with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, and terroristic threats by the Pennsylvania State Police. Malone allegedly tried to pay a fellow inmate to have the head pastor at the church and the judge on his case killed. Investigators say that he offered an inmate $5,000 to kill Pastor Harold Lee Wiggins and said he'd pay more for Common Pleas President Judge Jacqueline Cody. The inmate turned him down and went to detectives. Malone was originally convicted of institutional sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children, and corruption of minors in 2017. He was sentenced to three to six years in prison.

 
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(3) responses

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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 02/28 12:48 am
 
Collingswood arrest - 36-year-old Bernard Miller


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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 02/28 12:49 am
 
Former pastor 37-year-old Jacob Malone


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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 02/28 1:06 am
 
Constitution Health Plaza statement to tenants, partners, and friends

 

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