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Philly’s chief homicide prosecutor demoted as murders reach three-decade high

By PhillyNews.FYI , in Philadelphia News , at November 17, 2020 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


DA Larry Krasner’s decision regarding veteran prosecutor Anthony Voci reportedly came down Monday.

Anthony Voci (left) with District Attorney Larry Krasner in 2019
Emma Lee / WHYY

Today, 11:13 a.m.

District Attorney Larry Krasner has demoted his chief homicide prosecutor Anthony Voci at a time when murders in the city are soaring to a three-decade record, according to a source close to the matter.

The decision reportedly came down yesterday from Krasner himself. Reasons for the sudden leadership change have not been announced, though the veteran prosecutor landed in hot water recently over an alleged abuse of power.

Assistant prosecutor Chesley Lightsey is expected to take over as acting homicide chief effective immediately, according to the source. A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment.

Voci, 57, has served 15 years with the DAO over the last three decades, first in the early 1990s under then-District Attorney Ron Castille, and later under his successor, District Attorney Lynne Abraham. Krasner appointed Voci head of the homicide unit after taking office in 2018.

The exact circumstances around the shakeup remain unclear, but critics alleged the veteran prosecutor abused his power in a recent alleged “road rage” incident.

Voci made headlines in September after he attempted to stop a woman who he said tried to run him off the road on his motorcycle, the Inquirer reported. Police later tracked down the driver, towed her vehicle and charged her with numerous misdemeanors, based on Voci’s complaint.

The driver and her female passenger later claimed Voci referred to them as “Black bitches” — a complaint Voci, who is white, vehemently denied.

The personnel shakeup also comes at a time of soaring gun violence. Philadelphia has recorded 435 homicides to date so far this year — the highest annual count since 1993, with six weeks left in the year.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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