Warrant issued for ABP employee

The Daily Pennsylvanian

By Emily Babay

An arrest warrant has been issued for an employee of Au Bon Pain in Huntsman Hall in connection with a Southwest Philadelphia homicide, Det. John Ramsey of the Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit said yesterday.

Keith Devine, 26, is wanted for the murder of Jovonne Stelly and the shooting of four others in an incident that occurred in the 5800 block of Pentridge Street the afternoon of March 25.

He has failed to show up for work since the Monday after that incident, Ramsey said.

Ramsey also said that Devine was a figure “known to police,” and court documents show that Devine was convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault in 1999.

Business Services spokeswoman Rhea Lewis would not comment specifically on the case, but she wrote in an e-mail that, “effective immediately, Au Bon Pain on Penn’s campus will perform background checks on its employees” as Business Services reviews its overall vendor hiring policies “to incorporate background checks when appropriate.”

Lewis said that Au Bon Pain is a contracted vendor responsible for hiring its employees, but Penn can make requests of the company, including asking that a staff member no longer work for the on-campus vendor.

Ed Frechette, the vice president for marketing in Au Bon Pain’s corporate offices, said that Au Bon Pain’s application for employment includes a self-disclosure question that asks applicants if they have ever been convicted of a felony.

He said that, in general, “our policy is that we would not hire a convicted felon,” but he did not know any details concerning Devine’s employment.

Au Bon Pain “would cooperate with any type of investigation,” he said.

A manager from the Au Bon Pain in Huntsman Hall declined to comment.

Devine has been identified by witnesses as having been at the scene of the shooting, which is where he was last seen.

Another Au Bon Pain employee, Samuel Scruggs, 46, was shot in the chest during the incident. Court records indicate that Scruggs also has an extensive criminal record, including multiple counts of burglary, though Ramsey said he is not considered a suspect in the shooting.

He is still recovering at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was taken after the shooting.

Philadelphia Police officials have said that Stelly was a bystander who died while trying to protect her children from the shots fired during a battle that involved at least four people.

Police have not yet determined who fired the fatal shot, but they arrested and charged two other men – Stelly’s brother, Michael Stelly, and her boyfriend, Rashiek High – with murder within days of the shooting.

The incident comes as the University reviews its hiring policies and background checks following the announcement that the two convicted sex offenders who had been employed by Penn would not longer work for the University.

The Provost’s Office – which is heading the hiring practices review – could not be reached for comment.

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