PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 16-year-old has been ordered to stand trial in the shooting deaths of two teens in South Philadelphia.
Brandon Olivieri is charged as an adult in the murder of Caleer Miller and Sal Dinubile, both 16, in South Philadelphia.
The two teens were shot and killed during an argument outside Dinubile’s home near 12th and Ritner Streets on Oct. 28.
Brandon has been held for trial despite a 15-year-old lead witness lying and refusing to answer questions from the stand. The witness told prosecutors he lied and misled detectives, and refused to answer more than 20 questions on the stand.
“He is a critical witness, but he is not our only witness,” said Assistant District Attorney Lou Tumolo .
Prosecutors used the teen’s word against him where he said in a statement that pointed the finger of blame at Brandon.
“He wanted to back away from the words he gave detectives, sworn words in front of detectives and his own lawyer,” said Tumolo.
James Lammendola, who represents Brandon, claimed the 15-year-old witness and his lawyer cooked up a story to spare him a murder conspiracy charge.
“At this point, if they’re going to rely on him solely, I don’t see where their case is at,” said Lammendola.
William Brennan, the attorney for the teen witness, called the accusation a cheap shot, wildly irresponsible and untrue. The witness is due in court for a contempt hearing next month.
During the hearing, Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan railed at the people in court about guns.
“I got a 16-year-old sitting here in a gun culture. We’re buying them on the streets like a soda, and I got two other kids in the body bags. When the hell are we going to stand up and stop this crap?” said Dugan.
After the judge called for calm, tempers flared outside the court as sheriff’s deputies had to break up the crowd.
Sal was a junior at St. Joe’s Prep and Caleer was a junior at Mastery Charter School.