Frank R. Chester, who participated in the grisly slashing death of gay artist Anthony Milano in 1987, continues to seek his freedom, despite an unfavorable ruling from a federal judge.
In 1988, a Bucks County jury found Chester and Richard R. Laird guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, kidnapping and related offenses.
Chester seeks to have his convictions overturned on the basis that his trial attorney didn’t represent him adequately, but U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones 2d recently denied Chester’s request.
On Jan. 2, attorneys for Chester filed a 21-page brief, asking the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to consider the case.
“We believe that our justice system can do better than to allow a criminal conviction to stand when the evidence establishes that the defense attorney was laboring under so many crippling personal and professional crises — including the inherent conflict of interest posed by the lawyer’s own pending criminal charges — that the jury was deprived of all the information it needed to reach the right verdict,” said Daniel A. Silverman, an attorney for Chester.
In court papers, prosecutors insist that Chester had adequate legal representation during his trial.
Chester, 45, remains on death row at the state prison in Graterford.
Laird, 50, remains on death row at the state prison in Franklin Township.
PAC to discuss Morris case
The Nizah Morris case will be discussed at next week’s meeting of the city’s Police Advisory Commission.
Morris was a transgender woman who became a homicide victim in 2002, shortly after entering a Philadelphia police vehicle.
The PAC has numerous Morris documents that the city Law Department claims are off-limits to the public.
The meeting will be held 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at 990 Spring Garden St., seventh floor. The Morris case will be discussed during the public-comment portion, which is the first item on the agenda.
In a related matter, additional groups recently endorsed a state probe into the Morris case, including Keystone Progress, Equality Pennsylvania, GALAEI and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Members of the Justice for Nizah committee want state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to intervene.
Jordan Gwendolyn Davis, a J4N member, helped obtain NOW’s support.
“The National Organization for Women considers as its core principles the safety of all women, racial justice and the inclusion of the transgender community,” Davis told PGN. “The actions of the Pennsylvania chapter show that all women must work together for a world where all women are safe.”
— Timothy Cwiek
Del. chorus brings it back with hits
The CAMP Rehoboth Chorus will host two special performances at 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Epworth United Methodist Church, 19285 Road 271 in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
The CAMP Rehoboth Chorus will perform “Oh What A Night — Back to the ’50s and ’60s” for its winter concert, taking on hits from the Beach Boys, “Jersey Boys” and the Motown era. Music and artistic director Doug Yetter and accompanist David Zipse will lead the performances.
Tickets are $20 and can be bought at www.camprehoboth.com or by calling 302-227-5620.
— Angela Thomas
Stimulus to fundraiser for William Way
Stimulus Productions will present its fourth-annual Winter Wonderland Ball this weekend to raise funds for William Way LGBT Community Center.
The event will be held from 10 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Jan. 25 at Voyeur, 1221 St. James St.
The party will include a red-carpet entrance and music by DJs Jovi Baby, NiiLo and Kash, as well as go-go dancers and other live performers. Guests are encouraged to dress up for the occasion.
Cover is $10 all night.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/1446155732275155 /.
— Jen Colletta