Man Kills Popular Member of Philadelphia Synagogue: Police

Police have charged a man with murder in connection with the home-invasion killing of a popular member of a Philadelphia synagogue.

Police said they charged 33-year-old Jonathan Williams, a.k.a. William James, after a witness identified him as having seen Williams fleeing Ronald Fischman's East Phil Ellena Street home Tuesday night.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that police were called to the home of the 54-year-old Fischman by someone reporting a break-in. They found Fischman unresponsive and while they were on the scene, a witness pointed out Williams.

When police caught up to Williams he had lacerations on his hand, according to investigators. After treatment for Williams' hand, police charged Williams with burglary and murder.

Rabbi Shawn Zevit says of Mishkan Shalom synagogue says Fischman was a compassionate person and had blown the shofar and read from the Torah at Rosh Hashanah services last week. He also sometimes served as a cantor -- or prayer leader -- at a New York synagogue.

The men lived blocks apart and police say they had had an argument. Court records did not list a lawyer for Williams.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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