Arrest in Upper Darby murder, assault

December 20, 2008 8:37:51 PM PST
It was a savage crime that frightened Upper Darby's Vietnamese community.Hoa Pham, 60, was bound and beaten to death last month. His wife was repeatedly assaulted during a robbery of the couples Copley Road home.

At the time, Upper Darby's Superintendant figured it would be a harden criminal.

"Who in my opinion, I described as an animal. Last night, we arrested that animal," Supt. Michael Chitwood said.

The accused, Jermain Burgess, 37, spent most of his adult years behind bars; on one forearm he wears a tattoo of an assault rifle, above it reads, 'it's my way or gunplay.'

"As a result of speaking to the defendant Burgess, we validated that issue that it was a random attack, a burglary. He went by the hosue and saw that the house was dark," Chitwood said.

Chitwood says DNA left on a makeshift condom, as well as a chisel used in the attack, links Burgess to the crime.

His arrest brings relief for Pham's friend and pastor.

"I was so happy good new this Christmas for me and the community," Reverend Peter Quinn of the St. Alice Roman Catholic Church.

Even as Burgess was charged today with the murder of Mr Pham, detectives were investigating to see if Burgess had any connections with two other unsolved murders in Delaware County.

One is the October stabbing death of 80-year-old Marie Ott of Ridley Township, and the other, the September rape and murder of 84-year-old Jane Morgan.

Morgan lived just a few blocks from the Pham's and around the corner from a house Jermain Burgess often visited.

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