Foster Home Murders
The families of two Philadelphia murder victims who lost their lives within two weeks of each other, have filed civil law suits against the killer. Jimmy Mao was the first to fall victim to 17 year-old Xavier Johnson on December 29, 2019, after an evening of playing video games and then mysteriously going missing late that evening.
A few days later, Renee Gilyard unknowingly welcomed the troubled teen killer into her East Germantown home as a foster placement. On the third day in his new foster home, he stabbed Gilyard, stole her credit cards, and stole her car. Jimmy Mao was found weeks later stabbed to death near his home. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represents the family of Jimmy Mao against the foster care agency for his wrongful death.
On August 14, 2018, a chaotic shooting erupted at a Walmart in Wyncote, PA. An altercation in the cashier line led Keenan Jones to draw a semi-automatic handgun from his sister’s waistband and shoot a male customer. Jones then ran towards the door firing aimlessly leaving five gunshot victims and several wounded from ricochets. After being taken into custody, Jones injured the arresting officers. He was charged with one count of attempted murder, 13 counts of aggravated assault, and 19 counts of gun related charges of reckless endangerment. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran successfully represented one of the gunshot victims in this case.
New Jersey House Party
Over 200 birthday party attendees fled a Fairfield, NJ house party just before midnight on May 22, 2021, when shots were fired leaving 2 dead and 12 injured. While it took over two months for authorities to track down the gunman who attempted to flee to Atlanta, GA, Zedekiah Holmes was charged on August 11, 2021 in connection with the mass shooting. The homeowner has been named in a civil suit filed by the Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran for the murder of Asia Hester, 25, at the house party.
Collision with FedEx Truck
Seven people were injured in a traffic crash that occurred shortly after 6 a.m. on February 9, 2019 in Horsham Township, Montgomery County. A FedEx truck was broken down in the middle of the intersection of Route 309 and Route 63 with police on the scene directing traffic, when a white van crashed into the FedEx truck. Surveillance video from a nearby Sunoco gas station shows the van appeared to lift and move the double long tractor trailer forward upon collision indicating it was traveling at high speed. First responders spent more than two hours removing passengers from the wedged van, and air-lifted one passenger in critical condition to Jefferson Hospital. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represents several victims who were catastrophically injured in this crash.
Toddler Beaten to Death
In the early hours of January 20, 2021, Li’Aziah Thomas, a Delaware County toddler, was beaten to death in her home. The child suffered from blunt force trauma and blood loss; her mother was at work managing a fast food restaurant and had left her in the care of friends. With the information and evidence from the Chester Police Department, a solid civil case is being brought against the toddler’s killer. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represents the estate of the victim in this case.
Poughkeepsie Priest Sex Abuse Case
The Reverend James Garisto’s victims served as a community faith leader from 1998 to 2014 at Our Lady of Rosary Chapel in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he used his position of power to take advantage of young victims. The first allegation of sexual abuse against Garisto was dismissed for being outside the statute of limitations. However, he was arrested by Philadelphia police on May 4, 2022 for a separate relationship with a minor occurring between 2006 – 2010. One Poughkeepsie family claims the church was aware of allegations against him and continued to fund private trips and dining with his altar boys. The family is also filing a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New York for knowingly allowing years of sexual abuse and repeated misconduct with their son. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represents the Poughkeepsie family in this case.
Fishtown Church saved from Demolition
A beloved piece of Fishtown’s history will be preserved by the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The 19th century Roman Catholic Church was slated for destruction until a successful pro bono civil suit helped bring historical landmark recognition to the building from the commission. Designed in 1882 and built by Polish immigrants, the church is plagued with citations requiring costly repairs. However, residents worked together to spare the twin-spired brownstone church from the fate of demolition. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represents the Fishtown residents’ group and parishioners in this case.
In the early morning hours of June 6, 2020, 29-year-old John Robert Evans was shot and killed sitting in his SUV. His 26-year-old friend, Eli Quadree Smith was also in the vehicle and wounded in the attack that occurred in the parking lot of Hilltop Apartments in Edwardsville, PA. The killer approached them on foot, spoke briefly to Evans and without warning, brandished a gun and opened fire. State troopers arrived on scene, investigated and interviewed residents, but gathered very little information about the gunman. Evans’ mother, Heather Evans made a desperate public plea in March 2021 to Luzerne County residents for information leading to the arrest of her son’s murderer. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represents the estate of the victim in the civil suit claiming negligence against the apartment complex.
Foster Care Abuse
The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represent families who have been wronged by the system. In this case, parents were separated from their child after taking her to a doctor and receiving a diagnosis of a broken rib. Without any additional evidence, the doctor blamed the injury on child abuse. The child was placed in foster care for two years and her parents spent thousands in the court system to get her back. The Law Offices of Jared S. Zafran represent parents of the little girl who was separated from her family, who are suing the court for legal malpractice.