Suspect to stand trial for double murder

Wil­li­am “Pook­ie” Deputy

An Up­per Darby man has been ordered to stand tri­al for the Feb. 22 murders of two people in Frank­ford, al­though nobody ap­par­ently saw him fire the fatal gun­shots.

Wil­li­am “Pook­ie” Deputy, 33, al­legedly shot Ant­or­ie Coates, 35, and Al­ida Maria Cruz, 30, be­fore driv­ing their bod­ies in a van to the 4600 block of Trenton Ave. and set­ting the van on fire with gas­ol­ine and a match. Dur­ing Deputy’s May 7 pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing, however, a pro­sec­u­tion wit­ness said only that he saw the de­fend­ant set­ting the blaze, but noth­ing about the ac­tu­al murders, ac­cord­ing to a re­port.

Fire­fight­ers ar­rived at the scene at about 3:55 a.m. and doused the flames with­in minutes, only to find the charred bod­ies in­side the vehicle. A med­ic­al ex­am­iner’s re­port later de­term­ined that both vic­tims had been shot mul­tiple times.

At last week’s hear­ing, an em­ploy­ee of a nearby tow­ing com­pany re­portedly test­i­fied that he was mon­it­or­ing the busi­ness’ se­cur­ity cam­er­as when he saw Deputy park on Or­tho­dox Street be­hind a tow truck, exit the van, then be­gin to douse the van with gas­ol­ine. The em­ploy­ee went out­side to con­front Deputy and told him that video cam­er­as were re­cord­ing his ac­tions.

After Deputy moved the van around the corner, the em­ploy­ee heard an ex­plo­sion, then saw Deputy re­turn in­to the view of the sur­veil­lance cam­er­as while pat­ting him­self down as if he had been on fire. Deputy then fled the scene.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, de­tect­ives be­lieve that Coates had ar­ranged to meet Deputy to “buy some weed.” Re­l­at­ives of the vic­tims re­portedly told po­lice that Coates and Deputy had an on­go­ing dis­pute over drugs and money.

Mu­ni­cip­al Court Judge Kar­en Y. Sim­mons ordered Deputy to stand tri­al on two counts of murder and ab­use of corpse, along with single counts of ar­son, caus­ing a cata­strophe and weapons of­fenses. He will be ar­raigned in May 28 and is held in Cur­ran-From­hold Cor­rec­tion­al Fa­cil­ity without bail. ••

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