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Details of Jogger’s Rape And Murder Read in Court

December 14, 1995

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The jogger had ruined Richard Wise’s plans to break into a car and he was angry, he told police.

So when she threatened to call the police, Wise said, he hit her with a tire jack and they began to struggle on the street in the early morning drizzle.

Wise was losing. ``She was strong,″ Wise told investigators. ``I hit her again. She went down.″

Wise told police he pulled Kimberly Ernest, 26, into the back seat of his friend’s car where he choked and beat her and tore away her jogging pants. He said he raped her in the stairwell where she died.

The 19-year-old high school dropout heard his words again at a reliminary hearing Wednesday where he and his friend, Herbert Haak, stood accused of the Nov. 2 rape, kidnapping and murder of the paralegal.

Both defendants insist they are innocent and their statements were coerced.

Haak, 25, told police in a statement he drove the car and helped Wise dump Ernest’s body in the stairwell. Authorities said the woman was still alive when she was raped.

``He said he had already (expletive) her up and now he was going to (expletive) her,″ Detective Thomas Augustine said, quoting Haak. ``I heard clothes tearing and grunting.″

Haak told police Wise was angry because Ernest had caught him trying to break into a car in one of the city’s safest neighborhoods _ and even angrier that she had gotten the better of him in the fight.

The men were roommates in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood where the slaying happened.

Haak and Wise were arrested Nov. 29 after Haak’s stepfather, John Hall, a career criminal who is in jail in Bucks County on an unrelated charge, called authorities and implicated his stepson in Ernest’s killing.

The judge denied bail for either defendant because the district attorney might seek the death penalty.

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