Philadelphia DA finds man was not involved in shooting of police officer

Kristen Johanson
April 16, 2019 - 10:21 am
Philadelphia Police Officer Paul Sulock

Philadelphia Police Department

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UPDATED: 3:20 p.m.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia District Attorney has dropped charges for a man they say was indirectly connected to the shooting of a Philly cop last fall in the city’s Fairhill neighborhood. 

In the court proceeding, which lasted less than a minute, the Philadelphia prosecutor dropped three charges against 20-year-old James Gauthney: hindering apprehension, obstruction of justice and a related offense.

Authorities say 29-year-old Jerome Hill and another man were fighting near G and Madison streets in November, when they say Hill shot Officer Paul Sulock. They say Gauthney was on the block but wasn’t involved.

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In the days after the incident, authorities announced they had charged two people connected to the shooting, but have now clarified, after a lengthy investigation, that Gauthney was not involved in the crime.

Gauthney has a lengthy criminal history, mostly including drug charges. He remains in jail on unrelated charges.

The District Attorney's Office delayed the preliminary hearing four times before dropping charges, and originally set bail for Gauthney at $1 million, which was granted by the judge.

"We conducted a thorough investigation and concluded that we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Gauthney was guilty of the charges brought by our office in the case," said Ben Waxman, spokesman for the district attorney's office.

Hill’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for May.

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CORRECTION: Headline has been updated to show that James Gauthney was not involved.