PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There has been a major ruling in the Philadelphia trial of three men charged in the beating death of a Phillies fan outside the stadium in 2009 (see related story).
Common Pleas Judge Shelly Robins New declared a mistrial today in the case against the three charged in the beating death of 22-year-old David Sale of Lansdale, Pa., and has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to set a date for a retrial.
Defense attorney Brian McMonagle, who is representing one of the defendants, Charles Bowers, moved for a mistrial the other day after a prosecution witness identified another defendant, 30-year-old Francis Kirchner, as delivering what prosecutors believe was the fatal blow.
McMonagle says it also happened in the testimony of an earlier witness.
“We were informed the witnesses would not be making identifications, and within moments those witnesses made identifications,” he said. “The court had ruled previously that the first time it happened it was wrong. And the second time it happened, obviously, the judge had no choice but to grant a mistrial.”
“We respect the judge’s ruling but we are moving forward and we are getting ready for a retrial,” said Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. “We have to remember that a 22-year-old young man is dead because of a drunken melée, and this office has vowed to bring justice for David.”
McMonagle admits this is new legal territory and says the defense team is evaluating its options.
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060