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Sentenced to death

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More than two years after two women were murdered in Grays Ferry, their killer has been sentenced to the death penalty.

Laquaille Bryant, of Fern Rock, was hired to keep Chante Wright, a federally protected witness residing in Jacksonville, Fla., from testifying against Hakeem Bey, a South Philly drug gang leader, according to Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office. Wright and Octavia Green, both 23, were murdered Jan. 19, 2008 near 32nd and Tasker streets.

Wright was scheduled to testify against Bey, who was charged with a ’00 murder, in March ’08. The Grays Ferry native returned to her former neighborhood to visit a sick relative, but was killed eight hours later with multiple wounds to her torso on the sidewalk on the 1500 block of Patton Street. Green, of North Philly, was located near her body in the front passenger seat of a ’08 black Chrysler sedan shot multiple times in the torso. Both were pronounced dead at the scene at 2:15 a.m.

Bryant was arrested and charged for the murders about three weeks later.

“This was a horrible crime,” District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement. “Two young women lost their lives because this defendant wanted to stop the prosecution of a drug dealer.  I commend [Assistant District Attorneys] Carlos Vega and Brian Zarallo for their hard work on this case. They were able to bring justice for the victim’s families. While there is no joy in another person losing their life because of this crime, this verdict holds Laquaille Bryant accountable for his terrible actions. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Chante Wright and Octavia Green, and we hope this will indeed offer them some sense of justice and help them with the difficult process of closure.”


Robber still on the loose

Daniel Hodgins of Grays Ferry is accused of robbing another bank Friday morning bringing the total to four within 17 days.

The Center City serial bank robber allegedly robbed the Susquehanna Bank, 1635 Market St. of an undisclosed amount of cash at 11:35 a.m., according to FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver. He allegedly handed the teller a threatening note and fled — with the cash — on foot toward 18th and Cherry streets.

He was wearing a yellow baseball cap, a bright green T-shirt, khaki cargo shorts and camouflage Converse sneakers. Hodgins is white, 5-foot-7, 175 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He is known to frequent South and West Philadelphia, according to Klaver.

Hodgins allegedly robbed three other banks including PNC Bank, 230 S. Broad St., on April 21, TruMark Federal Credit Union, 1811 JFK Blvd., on April 26 and Republic First Bank, 1601 Market St., Monday.

There may be a reward for information leading to his arrest and tips can remain anonymous.

To report information, call the FBI, 215-418-4000, or the Philadelphia Police Department.

Contact Staff Writer Amanda Snyder at asnyder@southphillyreview.com or ext. 117.

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