Max G. Kramer: Courtroom Highlights
Comm. v. Khayri Salmon, CP-0012928-2014, (Aggravated Assault)
On August 18, 2015, Mr. Kramer persuaded a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, that his client did not intend to cause serious bodily injury to his girlfriend when he punched her one time in the face, fracturing her jaw. Mr. Salmon, who had no arrest record and testified in his own defense, was spared a felony record when the Court acquitted him of aggravated assault as a felony of the first degree. Rather, Mr. Salmon was found guilty of misdemeanor simple assault. Accordingly, he will be able to retain his right to vote, obtain federal and local educational loans, and not be labeled a convicted felon.
Comm. v. Luis Marrero, CP-51-CR-0005769-2015 (Unlawful Gun Possession)
On August 12, 2015, a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, granted Mr. Marrero’s motion to suppress physical evidence, prohibiting the use at trial of a gun found under the hood of a vehicle that Mr. Marrero was driving. The Court agreed with Mr. Kramer’s argument that, under Pennsylvania law,the Commonwealth failed to show that Mr. Marrero had knowledge of the existence of the handgun and that he demonstrated any intention of controlling the weapon. The vehicle was not registered in his name nor were there any personal items of his found within the car.
Comm. v. David Rivera, CP-51-CR-0008642-2013 (Aggravated Assault and Robbery)
On June 12, 2015, David Rivera was acquitted of all charges after a bench trial in the Court of Common Plea, Philadelphia County. Mr. Rivera had been accused by his employer/friend of punching him in the face several times, fracturing his facial bones, as well as removing a television, computer and other personal belongings from the “victim’s” home. After the Court listened Mr. Kramer’s cross-examination of the “victim” as well as the testimony of David Rivera, his girlfriend and his father, the Court declared Mr. Rivera not guilty of all charges.
Comm. v. Jean Striplet, CP-51-CR-0010967-2014 (illegal gun possession)
On April 9, 2015, a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County ruled that officers from the Philadelphia Police Department unlawfully seized Jean Striplet, forcing him to abandon a handgun. Accordingly, the gun that Mr. Striplet was in possession of was excluded as evidence at trial. As a result of the Court’s decision, the prosecutor withdrew all gun charges against Mr. Striplet, thus avoiding a state prison sentence.
Comm. v. Christopher Dunston, CP-51-CR-0010559-2014 (illegal gun possession, possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and criminal conspiracy)
On March 27, 2015, Christopher Dunston was acquitted of all charges in the Court of Common Pleas. Mr. Kramer convinced the Court that Mr. Dunston was merely present in a stationary vehicle while others around him were engaged in a steady flow of narcotics sales. The Court declined to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Dunston directly or constructively possessed a loaded handgun found in the closed center console that Mr. Dunston was seated next to.
Comm. v. Tedi Lester, CP-51-CR-0009176-2014 (unlawful gun possession)
On February 11, 2015, Mr. Kramer persuaded a Court of Common Pleas judge that Philadelphia Police Department officers had no right to order Tedi Lester to show his hands while he was merely observing an active police traffic stop from across the street. The Court agreed with Mr. Kramer that the officers did not have the requisite level of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to detain Mr. Lester who subsequently abandoned to the ground a handgun. Accordingly, the Court excluded the gun as evidence at trial forcing the prosecution to file an appeal to the appellate court.
Comm. v. Rodney Royster, CP-51-CR-0000855-2014 (Possession of large quantity of Oxycodone)
On February 4, 2015, Rodney Royster’s motion to exclude as evidence over two hundred grams of Oxycodone was granted by a judge in the Court of Common Pleas. Mr. Royster, with no prior arrest history, was accused of being in possession of Oxycodone pills that were located in his vehicle after law enforcement stopped his car for a traffic violation. Mr. Kramer’s cross-examination of the investigating officers and subsequent legal argument demonstrated that they had no reasonable suspicion to detain and question him after he was already cited for several traffic violations. Mr. Royster avoided a life-long felony record and the potential for a lengthy prison sentence.
Comm. v. David A. Williams, CP-51-CR-5922-2014, (Unlawful Possession of handgun)
On January 6, 2015, a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, ordered that a gun found in a vehicle being driven by Mr. Williams was to be excluded as evidence at trial. Mr. Kramer’s grilling of the experienced lead narcotics officer, convinced the Court that the majority of the officer’s testimony was false. The prosecutor withdrew all charges after the Court’s ruling.
Comm. v. Michael King, CP-0009335-2013, (Possession with Intent to Deliver crack cocaine)
On December 16, 2014, Michael King was found not guilty of conspiring to sell crack cocaine. Mr. Kramer successfully argued the “buyer’s agent” doctrine, convincing the Court that Mr. King was not assisting a seller of crack cocaine when he allegedly signaled several “buyers” to walk to that individual. As a result of his acquittal, Mr. King avoided a substantial state prison sentence.
Comm. v. Jose Martinez, CP-51-CR-0003211-2014
(Possession with Intent to Deliver over 5,000 packets of heroin)
On October 21, 2014, Mr. Kramer convinced a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, that experienced narcotics officers had illegally searched both Mr. Martinez’s vehicle and home, which led to the confiscation of numerous “racks” and “bundles” of heroin as well as seller paraphernalia. Mr. Martinez was facing years in state prison had the defense motion to suppress physical evidence been denied.
Comm. v. Felix Dejesus, CP-51-CR-2414-2014 (Felon in Possession of Firearm, Simple Assault and Conspiracy)
The Commonwealth alleged that Mr. Dejesus assisted an acquaintance by trying to pull the complainant out of a vehicle while his alleged coconspirator pointed a gun to the complainant’s face. However, on October 8, 2014, after a non-jury trial, in which Mr. Dejesus testified in his own defense, the Court acquitted Mr. Dejesus of all charges. Mr. Dejesus faced a lengthy state prison sentence on the new matter had he been convicted of even a misdemeanor offense.
Comm. v. Dante Hill, CP-51-CR-12518-2010 (Felon in Possession of Firearm)
On July 10, 2014, a jury acquitted Dante Hill of possessing a Glock .40 caliber handgun. Philadelphia police testified that Mr. Hill was driving a car with a semi-automatic handgun stuffed under his seat and that he confessed to being in possession of the gun. Mr. Kramer persuaded the jury that the police testimony was not credible and that the Commonwealth had failed to meet its burden of proving that Mr. Hill was aware of the gun under his seat cushion and that he intended to take control of the weapon. Had he been convicted, Mr. Hill would have received a substantial state prison sentence.
Comm. v. Alexander Ruiz, CP-51-CR-0013411-2013 (Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Assault)
On June 23, 2014, Alexander Ruiz was acquitted of weapon offenses and assault charges. A neighbor had accused Mr. Ruiz of pushing a handgun into his head and threatening to “end it right here.” After cross-examining the alleged victim and eyewitness and calling three defense eyewitnesses, Mr. Kramer convinced a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, that the complainant fabricated the story in order to exact revenge against the defendant Mr. Ruiz. Mr. Ruiz, who waited eight months in custody for his trial date, was immediately released.
Comm. v. Tyrone McCall, CP-51-CR-657-2014 (Possession with Intent to Deliver crack cocaine)
On June 18, 2014, a Court of Common Pleas judge in Philadelphia County granted Mr. McCall’s motion to suppress 170 grams of crack cocaine that was recovered from his pants pockets. Mr. Kramer convinced the Court that the police, responding to an anonymous radio call of a “man with a gun” seized Mr. McCall without reasonable suspicion that he was involved in criminal activity. Mr. Kramer successfully argued that the 170 grams of crack cocaine was the “fruit” of an unlawful search and seizure and should therefore be excluded as evidence. Mr. Kramer’s aggressive cross-examination of the arresting officers in combination with his precise legal arguments, saved Mr. McCall from serving a 5 to 10 year mandatory minimum sentence.
Comm. v. Jamir Young, CP-51-CR-11625-2013 (Possession with Intent to Deliver Cocaine)
On March 12, 2014, the Court granted Jamir Young’s motion to bar the prosecution from introducing narcotics (cocaine and marijuana)at trial. The Court accepted Mr. Kramer’s legal argument that a Sergeant from the 24th Police District illegally searched the glovebox of a Chevrolet Malibu that Mr. Young was operating. Mr. Kramer’s cross-examination of the sergeant made it clear that the sergeant had no search warrant, reasonable suspicion or probable cause to open the glovebox of the vehicle and remove a bag of narcotics following a traffic stop. Had Mr. Young been convicted of possession with intent to deliver narcotics, the court would have imposed a lengthy state prison sentence which would have been required by law to run consecutive to any state and county parole violation sentence he would have surely received.
Comm. v. Anthony Benoit, CP-51-CR-13630-2013 (Possession with Intent to Deliver Oxycodone)
On March 6, 2014, Mr. Kramer’s legal arguments supported by a recently published opinion by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, convinced a Court of Common Pleas judge to find that police unlawfully searched a vehicle in which a significant quantity of oxycodone pills were found. Despite massive police credibility issues which were brought to light by Mr. Kramer, the Court granted Mr. Benoit’s motion to suppress physical evidence on purely legal grounds. The Court declared that no reasonable suspicion existed to conduct a frisk of Mr. Benoit’s body and the interior of the vehicle in which he was the front seat passenger.
Comm. v. Dante Hill, Docket No. MC-51-CR-35529-2013 (Assault on Police)
On February 12, 2014, a judge rejected the claims of two uniformed officers from the Philadelphia Police Department that Dante Hill punched and elbowed them during an encounter on the street. After a thorough cross-examination of the officers by Mr. Kramer, it was clear to the Court that Mr. Hill was not engaged in any unlawful activity when the police decided to detain and search him. Additionally, the Court accepted Mr. Kramer’s argument that the Commonwealth’s evidence failed to prove that Mr. Hill assaulted either officer and acquitted Mr. Hill of all assault-related charges.
Comm. v. Donte Hill, Docket No. CP-51-CR-0004985-2013 (Possession with Intent to Deliver crack cocaine and Criminal Conspiracy)
On December 19, 2013, Donte Hill left a courtroom in the Court of Common Pleas free of any conviction for his alleged role in a conspiracy to deliver a large quantity of crack cocaine. At a prior hearing the Court had agreed with Mr. Kramer’s argument that Donte Hill was merely present in a residence when police stormed the home with a search warrant and discovered narcotics, guns and money throughout. The Commonwealth did not appeal the Court’s decision and ultimately withdrew prosecution of the entire case.
Comm. v. Ronald Smith, Docket No. CP-51-CR-4738-2012 (Possession with Intent to Deliver crack cocaine and Criminal Conspiracy)
Not Guilty of all charges was the verdict pronounced by a Court of Common Pleas judge in Philadelphia County on December 9, 2013. Mr. Kramer argued that police had violated Mr. Smith’s right to be free from an unlawful search of his person when a SWAT team raided his home and searched him as well as five other adults. The Court agreed with Mr. Kramer that the police had no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that Mr. Smith was involved in criminal activity. Accordingly, the Court ruled that police “buy money” seized from Mr. Smith’s pant pocket was illegally obtained. The Court subsequently found Mr. Smith not guilty of all charges.
Comm. v. Kameel Jones, Docket No. MC-51-MD-3051-2013 (Contempt of Court)
On December 4, 2013, the Court acquitted Kameel Jones on the single charge of criminal contempt of court. A Philadelphia Police Department narcotics officer, as well as court staff, accused Mr. Jones of taking photos of the undercover narcotics officer while she was in the courtroom readying herself to testify against him. At the contempt trial, Mr. Kramer convinced the Court that the Commonwealth failed to prove by way of forensic evidence or witness testimony that Mr. Jones took photographs of the officer or disrupted the Court proceedings in any other way. Mr. Jones was found not guilty of the single count of contempt of court.
Comm. v. Terrell Thornton, Docket No. CP-51-CR-4533-2013 (unlawful possession of Ruger 9mm handgun)
On October 23, 2013, the Court agreed with Mr. Kramer that officers from the 35th District were not telling the truth as to their reasons for stopping Mr. Thornton’s vehicle and searching the interior and trunk areas. Mr. Kramer successful argued that the police violated Mr. Thornton’s state and federal constitutional rights when they unlawfully stopped his vehicle and entered the glove box and trunk of his car without a warrant or any other legally recognized right to do so. Accordingly, the Court ruled that the Ruger 9mm handgun and narcotics were to be excluded as evidence. The state prosecutor withdrew the case with prejudice. Mr. Thornton avoided a significant state prison sentence.
Comm. v. Dominique Randall, Docket No. MC-51-CR-30417-2013 (Unlawful Possession of Semi-Automatic Rifle)
On October 15, 2013, Max Kramer, convinced a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge to dismiss all gun charges filed against his client. Mr. Randall was accused of conspiring with another individual to possess a high-powered assault rifle hidden in a laundry basket within the vehicle he was driving. The Court agreed with Mr. Kramer that the Commonwealth failed to produce evidence that Mr. Randall knew that the gun was present in his passenger’s laundry basket. Additionally, the Court accepted Mr. Kramer’s argument that his client did not demonstrate any intent to take control of the weapon. Mr. Randall was immediately released from prison.
Comm. v. Ryshieen Douglas, Docket No. CP-51-CR-8924-2013 (Burglary, Conspiracy)
On September 23, 2013, Mr. Kramer convinced Judge Donna Woelpper, sitting in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, that the lower court had erred when it ordered his client to stand trial on the charges of Burglary, Criminal Trespass and Criminal Conspiracy. After heated argument between Mr. Kramer and an unrelenting prosecutor, the Court ruled in Mr. Kramer’s favor, finding that the Commonwealth failed to present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Mr. Douglas conspired with one other individual to break into a residence in South Philadelphia. Mr. Douglas was released from custody the next day.
Comm. v. Michael Washington, Docket No. MC-51-CR-22622-2013
(Possession of a Weapon Designed for Escape from Prison)
On August 2, 2013, Max Kramer successfully argued that the criminal statute was not designed to punish his client who inadvertently brought a knife onto prison grounds where he was serving a weekend prison sentence for an unrelated criminal matter. Although not minimizing the seriousness of Mr. Washington’s behavior, the Court agreed with Mr. Kramer that Mr. Washington never intended to violate the statute. The judge was also was swayed by the defense presentation of Mr. Washington’s reputation in the community as a peaceful individual.
Comm. v. Myseam White, Docket No. MC-51-CR-12367-2013 (Impersonating a federal Agent)
On June 20, 2013, Max Kramer obtained an acquittal for his client Myseam White who had been charged with impersonating a public servant, i.e., an F.B.I. Agent. Mr. Kramer argued that his client’s reputation for being a peaceful, law-abiding and honest individual was sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt that he had committed the offense. The Court agreed and entered its verdict of not guilty.
Comm.v. Bykeem Scott, Docket No. CP-51-CR-0010217-2012 (Illegal Gun Possession)
On April 30, 2013, Max Kramer convinced the trial judge that Philadelphia Police Officer Charles Klink, Jr., of the 14th Police District, “seized” Bykeem Scott without any lawful grounds. Accordingly, the Court ruled that the gun that Bykeem Scott threw to the ground while police chased him, was inadmissible at trial. Mr. Kramer’s cross-examination in combination with the credible testimony of his client Bykeem Scott, convinced the Court that Officer Klink was not truthful when attempting to set forth legal justification to pursue Mr. Scott.
Comm. v. Diangelo Way, Docket No. CP-51-CR-14433-2012 (Unlawful Gun Possession)
On April 12, 2013, after Max Kramer aggressively cross-examined Philadelphia Police Officer Sean Devlin of the 12th Police District, a judge in the Court of Common Pleas ruled that the officer violated Mr. Way’s constitutional rights. Accordingly, the Court ordered that the gun that Mr. Way removed from his waistband and threw to the ground, be excluded from the Commonwealth’s evidence at trial. This ruling has effectively terminated the prosecution. In its finding of facts, the Court commented that the testimony of Mr. Way and one of his witnesses as to the events leading to the recovery of the weapons was more credible than that offered by Officer Devlin.
Comm. v. Corey Tisdell, Docket No. CP-51-CR-3401-2012 (Possession with Intent to Deliver and Illegal Gun Possession)
Corey Tisdell was charged by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office with possession of two handguns and possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine. He faced a mandatory minimum five year prison sentence if convicted. On March 8, 2013, a jury found Mr. Tisdell not guilty of all charges. Mr. Kramer convinced the jury that the police testimony was fabricated and that Mr. Tisdell was never in direct or constructive possession of the guns and drugs found inside a minivan in which he was alleged to have been the front seat passenger.
United States v. Sandra Harrell, Docket No. CR-11-276 (Bank Fraud)
On February 12, 2013, Mr. Kramer obtained a not-guilty verdict for Sandra Harrell who had been charged as a conspirator to bank fraud (18 U.S.C. 1344) in federal court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania). Mr. Kramer convinced a federal jury that the Government fell woefully short of proving that Ms. Harrell knew that her boyfriend was committing fraudulent activity on a Sovereign Bank account that she had opened for him.
Comm. v. Angel Maldonado, Docket No. CP-51-CR-0010660-2012 (Felon in Possession of a Weapon)
On February 6, 2013, Angelo Maldonado appeared before a veteran Court of Common Pleas judge having pled guilty two months earlier to being in possession of a semi-automatic handgun as a convicted felon. Angel Maldonado was facing a minimum guideline sentence range of four to six years in state prison. After an hour long sentencing presentation, Mr. Kramer convinced the Court that Angel Maldonado had so incredibly transformed his life since his arrest that he deserved great mercy. The Court agreed and sentenced Angel Maldonado to a county prison work release program, enabling Mr. Maldonado to continue to work as a mechanic and be a productive member of his Philadelphia community.
Comm. v. Jameel Scott, Docket No. CP-51-CR-000606-2012
(Attempted Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy)
On November 30, 2012, after a two day bench trial, the Court acquitted Jameel Scott of all charges. An ecstatic Jameel Scott was discharged from custody a few hours later to celebrate his not guilty verdict with his parents, extended family and friends. Jameel Scott had been charged with the robbery and attempted murder of Tyriek Scott on November 6, 2011, in the 500 block of East Penn Street in Philadelphia. Mr. Kramer’s cross-examination of the shooting victim convinced the Court that the victim’s identification was too shaky to support a finding that Jameel Scott was one of three individuals who robbed and shot Tyriek Scott. The Court accepted Mr. Kramer’s strongest argument that had his client been involved in this incident the complainant would have observed and described to police the very large tattoo covering the neck and throat of his client.
Comm. v. David Price,Docket No. MC-51-CR-0035793-2012 (Gun Possession and Assault)
An apartment maintenance worker accused David Price of possessing a handgun and threatening him with the weapon. On November 2, 2012, through cross-examination of the maintenance worker
Mr. Kramer was able to demonstrate to the Court that David Price never left his home, never held a weapon in his hand and never threatened the so called “victim.” Accordingly, Judge David Shuter dismissed all charges for lack of evidence finding that the Commonwealth failed to present sufficient evidence that David Price committed any criminal acts.
Commonwealth v. Tyreek Willis, Docket No. CP-51-CR-0014485-2009 (Aggravated Assault-Shooting)
On October 19, 2012, Judge Nina Wright-Padilla, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, granted Tyreek Willis’s Motion for Judgment of Acquittal on two counts of Attempted Murder and weapon offenses. Three days into a jury trial, Mr. Kramer convinced the Court that Tyreek Willis was incorrectly identified as the person who fired a semi-automatic handgun at two brothers a few blocks from the old Eastern State Penitentiary in the Fairmount Section of Philadelphia. Mr. Kramer’s cross-examination of the complainants and investigating officers made it clear to the Court and jury that Tyreek Willis was the victim of a faulty identification procedure and rush to judgment by the Philadelphia Police Department. Tyreek Willis was immediately released from custody after all charges were withdrawn by the Commonwealth following the Court’s ruling.
Commonwealth v. Diamond Lee, Docket No. CP-51 CR-0015256-2010 (Gun Case)
On July 12, 2011, the Honorable Paula Patrick, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, granted Diamond Lee’s Motion to Suppress Physical Evidence (gun). Attorney Kramer successfully argued that officers from the Philadelphia Police Department violated his client’s state and federal constitutional rights when they stopped his vehicle without reasonable suspicion to believe that he was involved in criminal activity. The Court agreed and ruled that the handgun found inside of Mr. Lee’s vehicle was inadmissible at trial. The Commonwealth immediately nolle prossed (withdrew) all charges.
Comm. v. Carnell Williams, Docket No. CP-51-CR-0014093-2010 (Gun Possession)
On June 24, 2011, Attorney Max Kramer convinced the Honorable Paula Patrick, the presiding judge in Philadelphia’s “Gun Court,” that an officer from the 15th district was not credible as to why he initiated a pedestrian investigation/stop of Carnell Williams-Carney. After lengthy cross-examination of the officer by Attorney Kramer, it became clear to the Court that the arresting officer had been untruthful about the initial basis for his “seizure” of Mr. Williams-Carney. Accordingly, the Court excluded the handgun as evidence. The defendant had thrown a gun during a police foot pursuit. Police subsequently shot Mr. Williams-Carney in the back, paralyzing him from the chest down.
U.S.A. v. Jamal Harris Muhammad, Docket No. 07-CR-00038 (Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine)
On March 15, 2011, Attorney Max Kramer secured an acquittal for his client who had been indicted on one count of conspiracy for his alleged role in a large-scale crack cocaine and gun ring in the Highland Gardens section of Chester City, Delaware County. After a two and a half week trial, Attorney Kramer successfully argued to a federal jury that his client Jamal Harris-Muhammad did not conspire to sell more than five kilograms of cocaine or fifty grams of crack cocaine with sixteen other individuals named in a grand jury indictment. Following his acquittal, Mr. Jamal Harris-Muhammad was immediately discharged from federal custody.
Judge Dismisses All Sexual Assault Charges Against Trenton Pastor
September 30, 2008
Defendant Avoids Lengthy Sentence In Battered Wife Stabbing Case
August 23, 2007
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