How The DA’s Race In Philly Affects One Family On Mothers day
Hello, my name is Julio Moran. I am one of four surviving children of Gladys Coriano. I am a registered Master Plumber here in Philadelphia. I voted for Bernie Sanders twice and I consider myself a liberal Latino. I write this in honor of my mother. I wish to share how sad this past Mother’s Day was for me and my family.
Last Sunday was the first Mother’s Day since my mother’s murder. On January 20, 2021, my mother was shot and killed inside of her car by her cowardly ex-husband, outside of her home on Hartel Avenue in the usually very safe Fox Chase neighborhood. The killer’s name will not be mentioned. As you will read, our current District Attorney- Larry Krasner- has blood on his hands for letting my mother’s killer walk out of a courtroom eight days prior to my mother’s death, despite our cries for protection. And to my surprise, this past Sunday, I had an unexpected – and for him- uncomfortable encounter with Krasner in my neighborhood on this especially sad day.
I will begin by explaining that my mom was a wonderful person who lived a life dedicated to service through her work, her church, and her family. Despite the constant danger and harassment from her ex-husband, my mom bravely lived her life, with unwavering good faith and an unmatched soft power. She was graceful, loving, and empathetic, as she worked with people in the most challenging parts of the city. She worked to provide home energy assistance to low-income Philadelphians. We are all blessed and grateful to her for the love she shared and the many lessons she taught us about faith, morality, and the simplicity of living a decent life.
I was there by her side during this battle that I wish I could say we won. Over some period of time, my mother was fighting a battle against a weak, evil coward, who preyed upon her. She was a sweet little church lady, half his size. In time, his true nature became evident. My mom had taken this man under her wing and showed him a life he could have never achieved on his own. She worked to rehabilitate him as many strong women do. This weak man depended on my mother to survive in this world. Eventually, my mom learned that he was an unchangeable demon predator and she attempted to cast him out of her life. His time ran out; and like a true demon, he began to stalk and torment her, aiming to break her will to be free. Sadly, this is a situation in which a lot of women find themselves. It is not important how someone gets caught in the net of a predatory manipulator. The key is the battle for freedom.
My mother had handled this situation with grace and poise, and she thought that she had finished her mission to protect herself. She had categorically defeated her abuser. She had followed the playbook given to her by domestic violence advocates and law enforcement. It is easy to see all the work my mother did to create the avenue of justice for herself, and we could not have been more proud. My mother was our chief. She was a boss. She handled her own case effectively and her chances of survival were great. We had this in the bag. My mother’s bravery and diligence could not have been any more clear than in her copious notes and documentation. In the months prior to her death, my mother had kicked the abuser out, filed for a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, installed security cameras, changed her phone number, and reported everything that the man did to law enforcement.
On October 26, 2020, my mother filed for a PFA Order, after the abuser had showed up to her home and started a fight with her children. Again on October 31, 2020, the abuser broke into the home, pinned my mother on the floor, and threatened her with a knife. The police arrested him for the first incident on November 1, 2020 and released him the next day on $25,000 bail. That means that he paid just $2,500 or 10% for his freedom. This low bail was issued despite the fact that the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) knew that he had broken into the home five days after the first incident and threatened my mom with a knife. The District Attorney’s Office advocates for the bail amount and it can appeal decisions made by bail commissioners or municipal court judges if the bail amounts are too low. That did not happen here. These additional facts about the October 31st incident were known to Larry Krasner’s ADA when arguing bail. However, Mr. Krasner believes in “ending mass incarceration,” and that bail should not hold a person like my mom’s would-be killer in jail, because after all, the accused is presumed innocent at that point. The ADAs follow their leader’s priorities and philosophies. In this man’s case, $2,500 for freedom was too low, as he showed ongoing rage and violence towards my mother.
By the way, the arrest warrant for the October 31st incident would be later approved on November 9th, but the man would never be arrested again before killing my mother.
During Christmas, my mother traveled to California to visit other family members and to briefly escape the negativity. However, the would-be killer continued to message her, brazenly violating the PFA Order and showing no respect for the law.
On January 12, 2021, the would-be killer pled guilty to the first PFA Violation and walked out of the courtroom with a mere six months probation. This ridiculously-low sentence was negotiated by the ADA, over our objection, despite the fact that the would-be killer had an open warrant for the second October 31st PFA Violation and despite the fact that he was violating the PFA Order by sending her messages a few weeks prior. There was no reason to negotiate anything. It was an open and shut case, overflowing with evidence, dealing with a very dangerous individual.
Again, Krasner fights to “end mass incarceration” at all costs. My mother’s case should not have been a part of his criminal reform agenda or a means to satisfy his philosophical goals. She needed protection on that date and he failed to protect her.
Six months probation was not an appropriate sentence under these circumstances. Not for a person with an additional open arrest warrant for another, more serious, violent attack on the same victim. Not for a person who was still violating the PFA Order two weeks before court. Furthermore, the District Attorney failed to alert the courtroom sheriff that the would-be killer had an open arrest warrant. That means, no matter what the sentence, the man should have been arrested on the spot by the courtroom sheriff and forced to pay a new bail for the new case. There was no excuse for him walking out of the courtroom that day. The new bail could have prevented the killer from getting out or it could have given my mother more time to relocate or protect her family.
As I stated, on the same day of court, my mother had reported to the ADA that the would-be killer had been messaging her while she was in California over Christmas. For these infractions, a third arrest warrant was submitted to the District Attorney’s Office two days after court on January 14, 2021.
In court stood a violent stalker and an innocent victim requiring protection. As in the case for many victims of crime, the ADA was the only hope for justice and safety. This man was supposed to be in jail since November given his actions. Yet, he was standing before Larry Krasner’s ADA despite an active, approved warrant for his arrest. Still, the ADA on January 12, 2021 pandered to the would-be killer. Larry Krasner’s ADA ignored my mother’s persistent requests for help. The ADA repeatedly refused to look at the stack of evidence my mother worked fervently to collect. The ADA refused to hear her story and the painful details she was telling. The ADA failed to react after being told what the abuser was doing to her, as she was there crying, shaking, and expressing fear for her life. Instead, the ADA gave respect to my mother’s abuser in the face of our outrage. The ADA worked against my mother in negotiations, for the benefit of the abuser, when this man already had his own lawyer for his defense. We raised our voices in disgust to the ADA. Our ADA repeatedly tried to convince us to consider leniency for this abuser. We insisted that probation for this individual was unjustifiable. The ADA set us up for failure, sending us away with the instruction to file yet another report. My mom did just that and the police issued another request for arrest warrant on January 14, 2021. The District Attorney’s Charging Unit ignored that request for arrest warrant for a number of days and ultimately denied it. In that respect, Krasner’s Office blocked the police from getting this guy off the streets and away from my mom. Our only real chance at justice had come and gone on the day we left the courtroom. The would-be killer was emboldened that day in court.
Our prosecutor had a moral and legal obligation to respond to us, to look into our case, to see our evidence and hear our story. Yet, we were given a blind eye, a deaf ear, and the utmost disrespect. This abuser was allowed to go free after showing up to court accused of violence, even while wanted for a separate incident of violence, and just eight days later he stole my mother’s life.
Mr. Krasner’s Office got caught red handed. His Office had dropped the ball and freed a predatory criminal, which led to my mother’s death. Mr. Krasner’s Office then felt the need to engage in a cover up by fixing their mistakes on paper, in an attempt to sweep us under the rug after learning what happened to our family. Amazingly, Larry Krasner’s Office approved the third arrest warrant AFTER learning that my mother had been killed. A blatant cover-up.
To add insult to injury, Krasner scurried to engage the Spanish language media, and pointed his little finger, pretending to wipe a tear from his eye, as he often does, and he cited a lack of evidence as the reason for the delayed approval of the arrest warrant. We all know that this is an outright lie. He blamed the police for failing to arrest him on the second arrest warrant. Fair point, but another deflection from blame. Never did Krasner show the dignity or class expected from an elected official. He failed to engage us in any way, express his condolences, or apologize for the trauma caused by the actions of his Office.
And this past Sunday – on the first of many sad Mother’s Days to come for my family, Larry Krasner failed once again to be truthful and to apologize for dropping the ball, leading to the death of my mother. I saw Larry Krasner on the corner of Cottman and Oxford Avenue, less than ten blocks from where my mother was killed, leading a small “protest against racists” in the Northeast. He saw me. I saw him. He stared. He froze. He ignored me. He sent ADA Chelsea Lightsey to try to talk to me. He scurried away to his vehicle, protected by a large security detail. I deserved a personal apology and a truthful explanation. How disrespectful to come to my mother’s neighborhood to ask her neighbors for their vote! How disrespectful of Larry Krasner to try to divide the residents of Fox Chase and Philadelphia generally based on race, when his Office has failed us!
What happened to my mother was an atrocity that was enabled by Larry Krasner’s District Attorney’s Office. The killer did not stand a chance against my mother, our family, and the criminal justice system. He was bailed out by Larry Krasner’s incompetence. By no means could this coward have earned the respect of anyone, including most criminals. He was among the lowest caliber of criminals that law enforcement faces on a daily basis. He knew that he had lost this battle and that his time on the streets was numbered. However, the killer was given many more chances by Larry Krasner and he persevered until he got his “win”. Thanks to the ineptitude, incompetence, and carelessness of Larry Krasner, he was able to take his time, stalk my mother, and steal my mom’s life when he felt it opportune. Eight days after walking out of the courtroom!
There was nothing challenging, complex, or hard to understand about my mother’s case. Larry Krasner cannot blame COVID, racism, or the police. Larry Krasner swore an oath to protect people like my mother, Gladys. There could not have been anyone more worthy of protection by law enforcement than my mom. There is no excuse for the abuse my mother suffered at the hands of this criminal, and at the hands of Larry Krasner. This was not an honest mistake made by any individual in our criminal justice system. Larry Krasner is a person who focuses on the macro and not the micro. He wants to change society and end racism and end mass incarceration, but he cannot even hire the right people to protect every day Philadelphians. He is NOT Bernie Sanders! He is NOT Elizabeth Warren! He is not even an effective leader! He refuses to put aside his big picture goals and to address justice one case at a time. Every defendant is different. Every victim is different. My mother should not have been a statistic for him to manipulate and present to make some philosophical argument. Krasner’s ADA should have listened to my mother’s pleas for help, as opposed to categorizing her and lumping the case into his one-size-fits-all notion of criminal justice where all defendants deserve mercy.
Larry Krasner’s actions represent his will to step on and step over the people of this City. His Office’s poor conduct helps his overall goal of emptying jail cells. He sacrifices lives of Black and brown people, like my mother, with impunity, amidst his crazed rhetoric and political ambitions. It is evident that Larry Krasner has surrounded himself with a group of obsequious servants, as opposed to dutiful prosecutors. His mission prioritizes his ego, his thirst for popularity, and he thrives from unearned praise.
Although she is no longer with us in physical form, the life of Gladys Coriano is etched in stone, and her legacy remains. She still lives through us in our hearts, our souls, and through the everlasting vastness of infinite light. We are blessed to have her still from within. I love my mom and miss her so much and I wish she was here to watch her grandbabies grow up.
This Bernie Sanders supporter is voting for Carlos Vega on May 18th.