Federal judge imposes 13 death sentences on Kaboni Savage

PHILADELPHIA - June 3, 2013

A jury determining the penalty in the Kaboni Savage case voted unanimously for the 13 death sentences last week - one for each of the 12 murders and one for intimidating a witness.

Savage didn't visibly react when the verdicts were read.

The 38-year-old boxer-turned-drug kingpin who killed a dozen people was convicted earlier this month of killing scorned friends, foes and strangers alike during a ruthless reign atop a North Philadelphia drug empire. He ordered seven of the slayings from prison, where he is already serving a 30-year drug sentence.

"He slaughtered and burned up children just to get back at a witness, and then he laughed about it," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Troyer said as the sentencing phase of Savage's trial got underway.

Another death-penalty hearing for co-defendant Steven Northington is to follow. Northington was convicted of two counts of murder. Savage's sister, Kidada, and another man were also convicted in the sweeping racketeering case, but they won't face the death penalty.

Defense lawyers listed 25 mitigating factors in an effort to keep their client off of death row. They argued that Savage lost his father to cancer at age 13 and had a pair of unsavory surrogates step in as he navigated his teenage years in the drug-addled neighborhood. They also noted that Savage has never harmed another inmate or prison guard, or tried to escape.

That argument, however, failed to sway jurors.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.

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