Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed a death warrant for the convicted murderer of Philadelphia cop and Northeast resident Chuck Cassidy.
Corbett ordered Lewis M. Jordan, 27, to be executed on June 18 by lethal injection. Jordan remains imprisoned at SCI Greene in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. His death warrant was the 32nd signed by Corbett during his three years, three months in office. Pennsylvania’s most recent execution involved North Philly serial killer Gary Heidnik in July 1999.
Jordan murdered Cassidy during the killer’s armed robbery of a Dunkin’ Donuts on North Broad Street on Oct. 31, 2007. Jordan was convicted by a Common Pleas Court jury, then sentenced to death by the same jury on Nov. 24, 2009.
The slaying occurred at about 10:30 a.m. at 6620 N. Broad St. The doughnut shop had been one of several area businesses robbed in the weeks prior. Cassidy, of the 35th district, made an unscheduled stop at the business as part of a robbery prevention initiative.
As the officer walked through the front door, he immediately noticed a robbery in progress, crouched and reached for his gun. Jordan was standing at the cashier’s counter when Cassidy arrived. He immediately turned to face the door and took steps toward the officer while raising his own gun and firing a hollow-point bullet into the officer’s forehead. Jordan fled the scene. Cassidy died at an area hospital the following morning.
Police later learned that Jordan had been on a six-week robbery spree targeting North Philly businesses, including the same doughnut shop on one prior occasion. Relatives aided in the killer’s disappearance and escape to Florida, but authorities in Miami found him in a homeless shelter and arrested him.
Pennsylvania has executed three convicts since 1962, the last year that the state employed the electric chair. In 1990, Bob Casey changed the state’s method of execution to lethal injection. Two murderers were put to death in 1995, followed by Heidnik four years later. Pennsylvania has 190 death row prison inmates. ••