Murder By A Philadelphia Cop, Or Self-Defense? Jury Set To Decide
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jury deliberations are expected to begin this afternoon in the case of a former Philadelphia police officer charged with murdering a 21-year-old neighbor during a confrontation in Port Richmond in 2009.
The defense says 45-year-old Frank Tepper, who was off duty when he shot and killed William Panas Jr., acted in self-defense. Defense witnesses said Tepper was being attacked when he fired his weapon (see related story).
But prosecution witnesses say Tepper was not being beaten or even threatened when he shot Panas in the chest (see related story).
Tepper did not testify, but the jury did hear his voice in the 911 call he made from the chaotic scene. In that recording, Tepper tells the dispatcher he discharged his firearm during a melée.
Tepper was later fired by the department and charged with murder after a lengthy investigation.