PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced federal charges in a 2018 shooting case on Thursday, while also taking the Philadelphia's district attorney to task for his office's handling of the case.
William McSwain announced a federal indictment against 29-year-old Jovaun Patterson for the May shooting.
Patterson is accused of shooting Mike Poeng with an assault rifle outside Poeng's store in the 5400 block of Delancy Street in West Philadelphia.
Poeng was hit in the leg. He was in cardiac arrest when he arrived at the hospital and was in a coma for several weeks, McSwain said. Poeng still uses a wheelchair.
Under a plea deal with District Attorney Larry Krasner's office, Patterson was sentenced to 3-and-a-half to 10 years in prison. McSwain called it a 'sweetheart deal.'
"Mike Peong deserves justice. The new district attorney's office was not able to provide it to him. He will now have his chance to be heard in federal court," said McSwain.
McSwain went on to say the policies Krasner's office, which he called those of a radical defense attorney, are a danger to the city. He pointed to plea deals, low bail, and a philosophy of deincarceration.
McSwain blamed the DA and his office for a rise in violent crime over the last year.
"The only way to effectively deter homicide and other serious violent crime is to put fear into the hearts of those who would commit these crimes," said McSwain.
"The Philadelphia DA's office isn't putting fear into hearts of anybody who is contemplating a life of violent crime," McSwain continued. "Instead, what's even worse, is that the office is putting fear into the hearts of law-abiding citizens who have to deal with the terror of homicide and other violent crime in their neighborhoods."
McSwain is a Republican appointed by President Trump. Krasner, a Democrat, held his own news conference later Thursday afternoon.
He held up a copy of a report that he said presents a scientific analysis of his first year in office.
"What is not called science is claiming that it's not, quote-unquote, common sense that if homicides go up then they were caused by the district attorney, or they were caused by the district attorney's office," Krasner said. "And what's even less scientific is to put up a prepared board showing the levels of homicides over the last six years and showed homicides went up five consecutive years and blame the district attorney's administration that's been in one year."
Krasner said McSwain's announcement was motivated by politics.
"The realiy is that Mr. McSwain clearly wanted a moment in the limelight, and he wanted it for political reasons that we're going to find out later," Krasner said. "I can guarantee you that.".
U.S. attorney announces shooting indictment, rails against Philadelphia DA