Man Accused of Shooting Cop in Name of Islam Held Over on All Charges
On Tuesday morning at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, a preliminary hearing was held for Edward Archer, the Muslim man accused of ambushing and shooting police officer Jesse Hartnett in early January.
The bearded Archer looked on silently as Hartnett took the stand and shared his memories from that night, when Archer allegedly approached Hartnett’s squad car wearing Muslim garb and fired more than 10 shots into the car. Hartnett spent just over two weeks in the hospital and required multiple surgeries for three bullets that entered his arm. In court today, he wore a suit and appeared to be walking slowly.
Archer reportedly provided police with a full confession, saying that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS and committed the shooting “in the name of Islam.”
Also taking the stand on Thursday morning was Philadelphia police officer Julius Caesar (yes, we double checked the name). Caesar and his partner were nearby at the time of the shooting and responded immediately, arresting Archer at the scene. Caesar testified that Archer had fired all of the bullets in his gun, a 9mm Glock that turned out to have been stolen from the home of a Philadelphia police officer a couple of years ago.
Defense attorney Trevan Borum questioned Caesar, apparently trying to make a connection between Archer and mental illness. He asked Caesar if unkemptness and wearing dirty clothing could be linked to homelessness and mental illness. Caesar responded that this wasn’t necessarily true. Borum pressed the issue, prosecutors objected, and the judge sided with the prosecution.
Archer remained silent even as Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield asked him if he understood what was happening with his case. Neifield held Archer over on all charges, which include attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons offense, and he’s scheduled for a formal arraignment in Common Pleas Court on March 31st. Archer was denied bail and remains in custody at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia.
Emma Pettit contributed to this report.