On the night that defense attorney Michael J. Reed took on William Fennie’s case, he was seen weeping over his Villanova University law degree. Reed put his three years of law school to good use when he defended a West Chester man for throwing a slice of pizza at a moving car on Walnut Street.
Reed flipped through his law books and filed a motion against the statute—“propulsion of missiles onto a road”—trying to contend that the pizza slice was not a missile within the context of the law, not a solid object.
Judge James MacElree considered fining Reed $500 for simply filing that puerile argument, but instead took the high road: in a footnote to his order, the judge recounted how he had purchased a pizza for lunch to test the physical characteristics of it to determine that it constituted a solid object. “I was able to bite off one piece, which required some chewing before I could swallow it. I put the remainder on top of a paper towel and observed that it stayed in place, did not spill onto my desk, and held its shape (less one bite.) I therefore concluded it was a solid.”
Later that night Judge MacElree was seen polishing his University of Maryland law degree.