PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Three men accused of beating a Lansdale man to death outside Citizens Bank Park in 2009 have decided to forego a second trial and have entered guilty pleas in the case.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys were scheduled to find out whether (or even if) a new trial would be held for Charles Bowers, Jim Groves, and Francis Kirchner. A mistrial was declared last month after a prosecution witness fingered Kirchner as the guy who delivered a fatal kick to the head of David Sale (see previous stories).

Today, what they got instead from Common Pleas Court judge Shelley Robins New was a sentencing date, after all three defendants decided to plead guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and conspiracy.

After the three entered their pleas, a teary-eyed Charles Bowers turned to relatives and friends of the victim and apologized, saying, “I’m sorry for the actions that led to the loss of a loved one.”

The defendants will be sentenced on December 20th.  All three face up to 40 years in prison.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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