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Dramatic Testimony in Murder Trial of Phila. Drug Kingpin Kaboni Savage

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(Kaboni Savage.  File photo)

(Kaboni Savage. File photo)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A star witness, whose family was wiped out in a 2004 firebombing, was on the witness stand today in the federal murder trial of notorious Philadelphia drug kingpin Kaboni Savage.

Much of 43-year-old Eugene Coleman’s early testimony centered on how he began as a teenage lookout in the open-air drug market at a 8th and Butler Streets in North Philadelphia, and how he grew to become a trusted Savage associate.

Still to come is the inflection point — in their relationship and in the trial (see previous stories).

To stop Coleman from testifying against Savage after Coleman was busted, prosecutors allege that Savage ordered the firebombing of Coleman’s family home in North Philadelphia.  Coleman’s mother, his infant son, three other relatives, and a friend were killed.

Coleman subsequently testified at Savage’s drug trial, and Savage was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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