Witness Tearfully Recalls The Night Billy Panas Was Killed
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There’s been heartbreaking testimony in the trial of a former Philadelphia police officer charged with murdering a young man during a Port Richmond neighborhood fight in 2009.
Defendant Frank Tepper, 45, was off-duty at home for a baby shower when people at the party got into a fight with some young men from the neighborhood. During this confrontation, Tepper shot and killed 21-year-old Billy Panas.
The defense says it was self-defense and that Tepper had been hit and was being threatened.
Witness Joe Mascino, who says he was really good friends with the victim, disputes that. He has told the jury Tepper pointed the gun at him and a friend, they backed off, and then he pointed the gun at Panas and fired.
Mascino broke down several times as he described how his friend started walking away and then collapsed. They tried to stop the bleeding, they were shaking him, screaming his name, trying to get him to respond as they rushed him away for help but word soon spread, Billy Panas was dead.