Former Cop Convicted of Murder, Wife Claims to Go Numb

Former Philadelphia police officer found guilty of murdering his neighbor

By Jackie Gailey
|  Thursday, Feb 23, 2012  |  Updated 6:47 PM EDT
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Former Philadelphia police officer Frank Tepper, was convicted on Thursday of first degree murder for killing Billy Panas, Jr. The officer was off duty at the time of the shooting and claimed his gun went off after being jumped while trying to break up a fight. Teppers attorney said, that his client was acting in self defense. People who witnessed the shooting said that Tepper shot Panas as he tried to get up off the ground.  NBC10's Deanna Durante reports the details.

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Deanna Durante

Former Philadelphia police officer Frank Tepper, was convicted on Thursday of first degree murder for killing Billy Panas, Jr. The officer was off duty at the time of the shooting and claimed his gun went off after being jumped while trying to break up a fight. Teppers attorney said, that his client was acting in self defense. People who witnessed the shooting said that Tepper shot Panas as he tried to get up off the ground. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports the details.

Photos and Videos

Parents Celebrate Cop's Conviction in Son's Murder

The parents of murder victim Billy Panas, Jr. celebrate outside the court where a former Philadelphia police officer, Frank Tepper was just convicted of first degree murder for killing their son. Tepper, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, claimed his gun went off after being jumped while trying to break up a fight that spilled out from a party at his house. His lawyer argued that Tepper was acting in self defense. But people who witnessed the shooting provided a very different account, saying Tepper simply pulled out his gun and shot Panas as the young man tried to get up off the ground. WARNING: There is some strong language in this clip.
Wife Goes Numb After Former Cop's Conviction
More Photos and Videos

Former Philadelphia police officer Frank Tepper was found guilty of first degree murder on Thursday, for killing 21 year old Billy Panas, Jr. during an altercation outside his Port Richmond house in November, 2009.

He will serve a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibilty of parole.

The conviction comes as a relief for the parents of Billy Panas. They celebrated the verdict outside the court building.

"We fought, we fought for 48 months and we got it," Karen Panas said.

"It ain't going to bring our boy back but you know what my son is looking down right now saying 'good job mom and dad and community, thank you for standing behind me when I was shot down and murdered," Billy Panas, Sr. cried.

Tepper's wife claimed to go numb after the verdict was read and medics were called to the courtroom.

Tepper's daughter was escorted out of court after an outburst.

Tepper, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, claimed his gun went off after being jumped while trying to break up a fight that spilled out from a party at his house.

His lawyer argued that Tepper was acting in self defense.

But people who witnessed the shooting provided a very different account, saying Tepper simply pulled out his gun and shot Panas as the young man tried to get up off the ground.

Jurors deliberated less than 10 hours over three days.


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