Hearing set for men charged in pedestrian deaths

PHILADELPHIA - December 15, 2009

Three children and a young mother died in June after a speeding car crashed into their block.

The two men who, prosecutors say, are behind the deadly wreck were both in court on Tuesday morning. They were ordered to stand trial in their deaths.

The suspects, 18-year-old Donta Cradock and 20-year-old Ivan Rodriguez, were allegedly fleeing after stealing a man's motorcycle at gun point when the crash happened.

The victims were sitting on the steps near 3rd and Ansbury when the car Cradock was allegedly driving mowed them down.

22-year-old Latoya Smith, her 11-month-old daughter Rimanee, 6-year-old neice Alliyah Griffin along with their neighbor, 7-year-old Gina Marie Rosario were killed.

A witness testified in court that Rodriguez sped off on the stolen motorcycle and that Cradock fled in the car involved in the crash.

However, Rodriguez was arrested at home and was not in the car when it crashed.

Rodriguez's attorney, Guy Sciolla, unsuccessfully argued that because his client he wasn't at the crash scene, and should not be tried for murder.

"Does that require my client to be responsible? I don't think it does," said Sciolla.

"The law says if you are part of the robbery, you are also responsible for the consequences in flight from the robbery. In this case we saw that, within a mile and a half, five minutes and 30 seconds, we saw the consequences of what happens when you engage in a dangerous felony," said prosecutor Jude Conroy.

Tammy Rosario was holding her daughter Gina's hand when she was crushed by the car. A still grieving Rosario, who is deaf, talked through an interpreter.

"I'm satisfied. I can't wait until they go to jail for life," said Rosario.

Because of the circumstances of the crime, Cradock and Rodriguez cannot be charged with first degree murder, which also means they cannot be sentenced to death.

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