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Delaware prosecutor: Suspected serial killer indicted

Delaware prosecutor: Suspected serial killer indicted

Authorities say a suspected serial killer accused in the deaths of several people in Delaware and Pennsylvania has been indicted on 41 felony chargesBy RANDALL CHASE Associated PressJuly 6, 2021, 11:14 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleDOVER, Del. — A suspected serial killer accused in the deaths of several people in Delaware and Pennsylvania has been indicted on 41 felony charges, including two murders, authorities said Tuesday.Delaware prosecutors allege that Keith Gibson, 39, killed two people and injured four others in Delaware during a weekslong crime spree earlier this year.Gibson is also a suspect in several murders committed in Pennsylvania this year, including the killing of his mother and the robbery and slaying of a north Philadelphia doughnut shop manager.“This indictment lays out one of the most vicious, staggering crime sprees I’ve seen in my career,” Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings said in a statement issued Tuesday. “It is even more disturbing to think, based on what investigators have revealed in Pennsylvania, that this may just be the tip of the iceberg.”Gibson, who was previously convicted of manslaughter and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, was released from prison on Dec. 20 after a 13-year sentence. Authorities said Gibson violated the terms of his probation and was held in custody briefly before being released again on April 27.Investigators allege that Gibson shot and killed Leslie Ruiz-Basilio, 28, during a robbery at a cellphone store in Elsmere, Delaware, on May 15, then stole her car.Gibson then shot and killed Ronald Wright, 42, during a June 5 street robbery in Wilmington, also shooting another man, prosecutors said.Earlier that same day, Christine Lugo, 40, was accosted by a gunman as she opened up her Philadelphia doughnut shop. Philadelphia police allege that Gibson pushed her inside at gunpoint, took about $300, shot her in the head and fled. She was pronounced dead at the scene.Authorities believe Gibson robbed or assaulted three other people in Delaware, and tried to murder one of them, over the following three days. He was arrested June 8 in connection with the robbery of a Wilmington Rite-Aid during which a clerk was pistol-whipped.Authorities in Pennsylvania also plan to charge Gibson in shooting death of his mother, Christine Gibson, 54. She was found shot to death in February. He is also a suspect in a January double murder in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood.“We are still awaiting extradition for him before we can charge him with the murders he committed in Philadelphia,” Officer Tanya Little, a Philadelphia police spokesperson, said in an email Tuesday.It was not immediately clear whether Gibson has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Boy Scouts of America reaches $850M agreement with victims

Boy Scouts of America reaches $850M agreement with victims

DOVER, Del. — The Boy Scouts of America have reached an $850 million agreement with attorneys representing some 60,000 victims of child sex abuse in what could prove to be a pivotal moment in the organization’s bankruptcy case.The settlement would mark one of the largest sums in U.S. history involving cases of sexual abuse.Attorneys for the BSA filed court papers late Thursday outlining a restructuring support agreement with attorneys representing abuse victims. The agreement also includes attorneys representing local Boy Scouts councils and lawyers appointed to represent victims who might file future claims.“After months of intensive negotiations, the debtors have reached resolution with every single official and major creditor constituency in these Chapter 11 cases,” BSA attorneys wrote.The Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020, moving to halt hundreds of lawsuits and create a compensation fund for men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.But BSA attorneys have been unable to get attorneys for victims, the BSA’s local councils and sponsoring organizations, and insurers to agree on a global resolution that would compensate abuse victims while allowing the 111-year-old organization to continue operating.The agreement signals the BSA’s acknowledgment that the gulf between attorneys representing abuse victims and those representing the BSA’s insurers is currently too broad to be resolved. They may very well be left to resolve their differences in future court battles, a prospect that the BSA had sought to avoid.In an earlier court filing Thursday, attorneys for certain insurance companies accused the BSA of allowing attorneys for abuse victims to rewrite the BSA’s restructuring plan to include terms favorable to their clients.“With only the fox guarding the henhouse, the outcome is utterly at odds with what BSA itself asserted was necessary for a confirmable plan and is permissible under the bankruptcy code,” the insurers wrote.Attorneys for insurers appear to be particularly concerned that the BSA’s liability for abuse claims would be adjudicated under proposed trust distribution procedures in an effort to decide insurance coverage issues.Meanwhile, in connection with the restructuring support agreement, attorneys for the Boy Scouts are asking for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein to declare that they have no obligation to seek court approval of a previously announced settlement with The Hartford, one of the BSA’s insurers.The Hartford agreed to pay $650 million into the victims’ trust in exchange for being released from any further obligations under policies dating to 1971. The agreement allowed The Hartford to pay a lesser amount if the BSA or the settlement trust reaches an agreement with another major BSA insurer, Century Insurance Group, and Century’s settlement amount is less than two times The Hartford’s, or $1.3 billion.The Hartford settlement was roundly criticized by attorneys for abuse victims, who estimate the insurer’s liability exposure at several billion dollars. They made it clear that victims would not support any plan that includes the Hartford settlement.The Boy Scouts have said that between $2.4 billion and $7.1 billion, including insurance rights, might be available for abuse victims. Attorneys for the tort claimants committee, which is charged with acting as a fiduciary in the bankruptcy case for all abuse victims, have estimated the value of some 82,500 sexual abuse claims at about $103 billion.“All plaintiff representatives, who represent the vast majority of the holders of direct abuse claims, have indicated that any plan containing the Hartford Settlement would be categorically rejected,” BSA attorneys wrote in Thursday’s court filing. “Without their support, to be forced to pursue a plan that incorporates the Hartford settlement appears futile.”Matthew Sturdevant, a spokesperson for The Hartford, said the company’s agreement with the Boy Scouts “is a crucial building block to move this bankruptcy case toward a conclusion.”“We are disappointed that the Boy Scouts of America have chosen to flout the organization’s tenet of keeping promises by seeking to discard a thoughtfully negotiated and mutually agreed upon deal that appropriately values The Hartford’s obligations,” Sturdevant said.In a joint statement, representatives for the victims as well as future claimants representative said the restructuring support agreement will allow the Boy Scouts to emerge from bankruptcy “while providing meaningful compensation to the victims, and holding the Boy Scouts’ insurers to the terms of the insurance policies purchased by the Boy Scouts and their affiliates over many decades.”In a revised plan submitted barely two weeks ago, the BSA offered to issue an $80 million unsecured promissory note to a trust fund for abuse victims. It also proposed using restricted assets to help cover post-bankruptcy operational expenses, which would make up to $50 million in unrestricted cash available for abuse survivors. With the changes, the BSA’s proposed contribution to the trust fund would increase from about $120 million under a previous plan to as much as roughly $250 million.Under a new plan expected to be filed Friday, the BSA’s 250-odd local councils would contribute $600 million into the fund for abuse victims, double an offer of $300 million from earlier this year.In return for their contributions to the trust fund and the transfer of insurance rights, the BSA and local councils would be released from liability. Sponsoring organizations such as churches and civic groups also could be released from further liability in exchange for contributing to the fund and transferring insurance rights.A hearing in the case is schedule for July 20.

Boy Scouts of America reaches $850M agreement with victims

Boy Scouts of America reaches $850M agreement with victims

DOVER, Del. — The Boy Scouts of America have reached an $850 million agreement with attorneys representing some 60,000 victims of child sex abuse in what could prove to be a pivotal moment in the organization’s bankruptcy case.The settlement would mark one of the largest sums in U.S. history involving cases of sexual abuse.Attorneys for the BSA filed court papers late Thursday outlining a restructuring support agreement with attorneys representing abuse victims. The agreement also includes attorneys representing local Boy Scouts councils and lawyers appointed to represent victims who might file future claims.“After months of intensive negotiations, the debtors have reached resolution with every single official and major creditor constituency in these Chapter 11 cases,” BSA attorneys wrote.The Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020, moving to halt hundreds of lawsuits and create a compensation fund for men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.But BSA attorneys have been unable to get attorneys for victims, the BSA’s local councils and sponsoring organizations, and insurers to agree on a global resolution that would compensate abuse victims while allowing the 111-year-old organization to continue operating.The agreement signals the BSA’s acknowledgment that the gulf between attorneys representing abuse victims and those representing the BSA’s insurers is currently too broad to be resolved. They may very well be left to resolve their differences in future court battles, a prospect that the BSA had sought to avoid.In an earlier court filing Thursday, attorneys for certain insurance companies accused the BSA of allowing attorneys for abuse victims to rewrite the BSA’s restructuring plan to include terms favorable to their clients.“With only the fox guarding the henhouse, the outcome is utterly at odds with what BSA itself asserted was necessary for a confirmable plan and is permissible under the bankruptcy code,” the insurers wrote.Attorneys for insurers appear to be particularly concerned that the BSA’s liability for abuse claims would be adjudicated under proposed trust distribution procedures in an effort to decide insurance coverage issues.Meanwhile, in connection with the restructuring support agreement, attorneys for the Boy Scouts are asking for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein to declare that they have no obligation to seek court approval of a previously announced settlement with The Hartford, one of the BSA’s insurers.The Hartford agreed to pay $650 million into the victims’ trust in exchange for being released from any further obligations under policies dating to 1971. The agreement allowed The Hartford to pay a lesser amount if the BSA or the settlement trust reaches an agreement with another major BSA insurer, Century Insurance Group, and Century’s settlement amount is less than two times The Hartford’s, or $1.3 billion.The Hartford settlement was roundly criticized by attorneys for abuse victims, who estimate the insurer’s liability exposure at several billion dollars. They made it clear that victims would not support any plan that includes the Hartford settlement.The Boy Scouts have said that between $2.4 billion and $7.1 billion, including insurance rights, might be available for abuse victims. Attorneys for the tort claimants committee, which is charged with acting as a fiduciary in the bankruptcy case for all abuse victims, have estimated the value of some 82,500 sexual abuse claims at about $103 billion.“All plaintiff representatives, who represent the vast majority of the holders of direct abuse claims, have indicated that any plan containing the Hartford Settlement would be categorically rejected,” BSA attorneys wrote in Thursday’s court filing. “Without their support, to be forced to pursue a plan that incorporates the Hartford settlement appears futile.”Matthew Sturdevant, a spokesperson for The Hartford, said the company’s agreement with the Boy Scouts “is a crucial building block to move this bankruptcy case toward a conclusion.”“We are disappointed that the Boy Scouts of America have chosen to flout the organization’s tenet of keeping promises by seeking to discard a thoughtfully negotiated and mutually agreed upon deal that appropriately values The Hartford’s obligations,” Sturdevant said.In a joint statement, representatives for the victims as well as future claimants representative said the restructuring support agreement will allow the Boy Scouts to emerge from bankruptcy “while providing meaningful compensation to the victims, and holding the Boy Scouts’ insurers to the terms of the insurance policies purchased by the Boy Scouts and their affiliates over many decades.”In a revised plan submitted barely two weeks ago, the BSA offered to issue an $80 million unsecured promissory note to a trust fund for abuse victims. It also proposed using restricted assets to help cover post-bankruptcy operational expenses, which would make up to $50 million in unrestricted cash available for abuse survivors. With the changes, the BSA’s proposed contribution to the trust fund would increase from about $120 million under a previous plan to as much as roughly $250 million.Under a new plan expected to be filed Friday, the BSA’s 250-odd local councils would contribute $600 million into the fund for abuse victims, double an offer of $300 million from earlier this year.In return for their contributions to the trust fund and the transfer of insurance rights, the BSA and local councils would be released from liability. Sponsoring organizations such as churches and civic groups also could be released from further liability in exchange for contributing to the fund and transferring insurance rights.A hearing in the case is schedule for July 20.

More changes made to Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy plan

More changes made to Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy plan

Attorneys for the Boy Scouts of America have submitted another revised reorganization plan as they continue to work toward a goal of emerging from bankruptcy this fallBy RANDALL CHASE Associated PressJune 22, 2021, 12:08 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleDOVER, Del. — The latest bankruptcy plan filed by the Boy Scouts of America increases the contributions from the BSA and its local councils to a proposed trust fund for child sex abuse victims while appearing to back away from a controversial settlement with one of the BSA’s insurers.Under a revised plan submitted late last week, the Boy Scouts are offering to issue an $80 million unsecured promissory note to a trust fund for abuse victims. The BSA also is proposing to use restricted assets to help cover post-bankruptcy operational expenses, which would make up to $50 million in unrestricted cash available for abuse survivors. With the changes, the BSA’s proposed contribution to the trust fund would increase from about $120 million under a previous plan to as much as roughly $250 million.The BSA also said its local councils would contribute $500 million into the fund for abuse victims, up from $425 million offered in the previous plan. The new proposal calls for the councils to contribute $300 million in cash and the remainder in property with a combined appraised value of $200 million.The BSA, its 250 or so local councils and hundreds of sponsoring organizations such as churches and civic groups would be released from further liability in exchange for contributions to the trust fund and the transfer of insurance rights.In a prepared statement, the Boy Scouts described the revised plan as “a significant step” toward a global resolution of abuse claims.“The BSA is hopeful that this plan, or one very similar to it, will have the support of a supermajority of survivors,” the organization said.A hearing regarding the latest proposal is scheduled for July 20.Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts appear to be backing way from a previously announced settlement in which one of the group’s insurers, The Hartford, agreed to pay $650 million into the victims trust in exchange for being released from any further obligations under policies dating to 1971. The agreement allows The Hartford to pay a lesser amount if the BSA or the settlement trust reaches an agreement with another major BSA insurer, Century Insurance Group, and Century’s settlement amount is less than two times The Hartford’s, or $1.3 billion.The Hartford settlement was roundly criticized by attorneys for abuse victims, who estimate the insurer’s liability exposure at several billion dollars.“We see dropping Hartford as a positive,” Jim Stang, an attorney for the official committee representing abuse victims, said Monday.The BSA acknowledged in last week’s court filing that it can’t win support for a global resolution of the sex abuse claims that drove the organization into bankruptcy if the Hartford settlement is included in its plan. Attorneys representing the official committee, a plaintiffs group called the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, and potential future abuse claimants told BSA lawyers in a letter two weeks ago that abuse survivors would not, “under any circumstances,” support any plan that includes the Hartford settlement.“It appears the global resolution plan cannot be confirmed to the extent it includes the Hartford insurance settlement agreement unless modifications are made … that are agreeable to the holders of direct abuse claims,” BSA attorneys wrote.Attorneys for the Boy Scouts indicated that they would ask the bankruptcy judge at next month’s hearing if they are obligated to further pursue the settlement with The Hartford, which requires court approval, given the universal opposition from abuse victims. If not, BSA lawyers intend to drop the settlement from the plan.The Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, Texas, sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020, moving to halt hundreds of lawsuits and create a compensation fund for men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.Attorneys for abuse victims have said they would go after properties and assets owned by the BSA’s local councils. The councils, which run day-to-day operations for local troops, are considered legally separate entities by the Boy Scouts, even though they share insurance policies and are considered “related parties” in the bankruptcy.Attorneys for the Boy Scouts have said that between $2.4 billion and $7.1 billion, including insurance rights, might be available for abuse victims. The official victims committee, which is known as the tort claimants committee and is charged with acting as a fiduciary for all abuse victims, estimates the value of some 82,500 sexual abuse claims at about $103 billion.