Philly drug lord convicted in 12 murders now challenging his death penalty sentence

Andrew Kramer
January 07, 2020 - 6:41 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia man who was sentenced to death in 2013 for his role in multiple murders wants a new trial. The former drug lord's lawyers Tuesday appeared before three appellate judges.

Kaboni Savage was not in court, but his attorneys presented five arguments why the mastermind of the North Philadelphia firebombing that killed six people should get a new trial.

The defense says Savage switched lawyers before his trial and his new attorney didn't have enough time to prepare. Prosecutors say it was Savage's decision to get new representation and the lawyer did a good job.

The defense argues Savage had only one intended target in the 2004 firebombing even though others died, including four children. 

But prosecutors argue transferred intent — in such an attack, it's known anyone in the vicinity will be killed too. They also point to a comment Savage made: "If you go against me, I can go after your family."

The defense wants to get its hands on judges' notes and emails from the case, but prosecutors say everything that should be there is there.

Savage's lawyers also contend there were problems with jury selection, but the appeals court judges appeared unmoved.