News briefing Nov. 7-13, 2014

News briefing Nov. 7-13, 2014

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Court date set in Williams case

A pre-trial conference has been scheduled in the case of Charles N. Sargent, who alleged stabbed to death, then dismembered, transwoman Diamond Williams last year.

According to a statement Sargent allegedly gave to police, he acknowledged inviting Williams to his Strawberry Mansion residence during the early-morning hours of July 14, 2013. Sargent claims he stabbed Williams in self-defense, after she demanded a pre-arranged payment of $40 for having sex with him — which he refused to pay since she had male genitalia.

He’s charged with murder, abuse of corpse and possessing an instrument of crime.

Sargent, 45, has a lengthy rap sheet and remains incarcerated at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 18 in Room 1105 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St. Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner will preside.

A jury trial for Sargent is expected sometime next year. Prosecutors haven’t yet announced whether they’ll seek the death penalty.


Former Scoutmaster denies molestation allegations

Charles “Chris” Morris, who’s accused of contributing to the suicide of an Eagle Scout by repeatedly molesting him, has denied all charges in court papers filed last week.

Patricia Evasew says Morris repeatedly molested her son Thomas while he was a teenager in the 1980s. 

In February 2012, Thomas, 38, shot and killed himself in the parking lot of a building where his Scout troop met.

Earlier this year, Evasew filed suit against Morris and the Boy Scouts of America in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

In a 28-page reply to her allegations, Morris acknowledged being a Scout leader for BSA Troop 67 of the Chester County Council from January 1987 to December 1992. Morris, of Paoli, also acknowledged knowing Thomas, but denied molesting him or contributing to his death.

Jury selection is tentatively scheduled to begin 10 a.m. Sept. 8, 2015, in City Hall Courtroom 246. Judge Mark I. Bernstein will preside.


— Timothy Cwiek


Learn about adoption

Interested in learning more about adoption? A special LGBT information session would be a good place to start.

The National Adoption Center’s LGBT Adoption Café will have a panel of experts and adoption professionals to provide prospective parents with all the information they need to get started.

The Café will take place 5:30-8 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Commodore Barry Club, 6815 Emlen Ave. in Mount Airy.

The panel will also include members of the LGBT community who have already adopted children to share their experiences of going through the process.

According to the NAC, there are more than 1,600 children available to be adopted in the Delaware Valley.

The free event includes a light dinner.

For more information, contact Gloria Hochman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 215-875-0324. To register for the event, visit 


— Ryan Kasley

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