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Key Figure In Piazza Double Murder Sentenced

(Surveillance video caught suspects entering the Piazza At Schmidt’s apartment building in Northern Liberties shortly before two people were murdered there.)

(Surveillance video caught suspects entering the Piazza At Schmidt’s apartment building in Northern Liberties shortly before two people were murdered there.)

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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the key figures in the 2009 double murder at the Piazza at Schmidt’s was sentenced Thursday to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Four men, including the shooters, are already serving life sentences for their roles in the shooting deaths of Piazza resident Rian Thal and a man, Timothy Gilmore, during a planned drug robbery. But 37-year-old Caesar Holloway was given a significantly lighter sentence of 20-40 years.

Prosecutor Carlos Vega concedes Holloway got a break, in large part because he immediately agreed to plea guilty and did not go to trial with the other defendants.

“He was one of the people who coordinated this robbery and he brought several people to commit the robbery.,” Vega said. “In fact, one of the people who was supposed to perform the robbery chickened out, and went back, at which point Mr. Holloway went and picked up Mr. Wright who eventually came, did the robbery and was one of the shooters.”

The killers got nothing, although a large amount of drugs and over $100,000 were found in Thal’s apartment.

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