If found guilty, all the defendants face mandatory life prison terms without chance of parole.
Judge Jeffrey Minehart on Monday told the jury to ignore the testimony of Donnell Murchison because of his refusal to answer the majority of questions, depriving the defense of its right to cross-examine him.
Prosecutor Jennifer Selber told jurors that security video of the newly opened “Piazza Navona” apartment building in Northern Liberties showed all of the defendants in three stages: a bungled burglary, a dropped drug deal, and a robbery gone bad that turned into a double murder.
Back in 2009, the Piazza at Schmidts apartment complex had just opened in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, but the headlines that followed were about a double murder there.
The judge says he would like to seat a panel and begin opening statements on Monday.
In an unusual move for unspecified security reasons, Philadelphia judge Jeffrey Minehart cleared his courtroom in the Criminal Justice Center before taking a guilty plea.