[start_gallery] [end_gallery] The jury in the George Tsunis murder trial listened to a largely forensic accounting of the defendant’s criminal history in Philadelphia, Thursday, as defense attorneys argued the case before the judge. Jury selection was continued through the weekend.
There was a man on the stand Thursday in the George Tsunis murder trial, one who had just served time for manslaughter — and the man’s analysis resonated with legal experts.
Raphael Saez told the jury that Tsunis, 68, was a gang leader before he was found guilty in 2009 of the manslaughter of Randy Meeks, the man described in testimony Thursday as the “driving force” of the Headpins faction of the Adelphia mob.
In his closing arguments Thursday, defense attorney O. Robert Cherry labeled Tsunis as a sort of character out of a movie.
“George’s a swami,” Cherry said, referring to an adviser in some Alan J. Pakula movies. “This case was a fairy tale,” he said.
But for a retrial on the case of the now-untested defendant, the Meeks case, “this has the makings of a killer case,” said Robert Wesley, a criminal attorney and Philadelphia criminal defense attorney.
“This is a significant case,” Wesley said. “A big, big case.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Todd A. Garman, a former federal prosecutor and Philadelphia criminal defense attorney. “This is a perfect storm. I think this case could be the pendulum swinging back.”
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