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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Justice Served

John "Jordan" Lewis, the baby-face North Philadelphia man whose string of six armed robberies ended with the Halloween 2007 slaying of Police Officer Chuck Cassidy, was found guilty of first-degree murder Thursday by a Philadelphia jury.

The 12 jurors deliberated about 2 1/4 hours before returning their decision shortly after 4 p.m. The forewoman - the first juror selected Nov. 4 - announced the verdict in a loud, strong voice without hesitation.

The standing-room-only courtroom crowd had been warned not to visibly react, and the room was silent except for the congratulatory sound of hands slapping shoulders.

The jury will return to the Criminal Justice Center this morning to begin hearing evidence about whether Lewis, 23, should be put to death by injection or spend his life in prison with no chance of parole.

The jury will hear evidence of aggravating factors in the murder of Cassidy, 54, that justify a death sentence or mitigating factors in Lewis' character or background that warrant a life term.

If the jury cannot reach a decision, Lewis will get life in prison.

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