Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wecht gets a mistrial

The jury in the federal fraud trial of former Allegheny county coroner Cyril Wecht has been dismissed. DUQ’s Mark Nootbaar has more on the judge’s declaration of a mis trial.

After 10 days of deliberations the jury told the judge it was deadlock on the 41 counts against Cyril Wecht. The prosecution immediately asked for a retrial and the judge quickly set a new trial date of May 27th. Visibly agitated defense lawyer Jerry Mc Devitt says that was an utter disgrace. He says it was “the most bizarre ending to one of the most unfair trials in Pittsburgh. Mc Devitt says to not even take a moment to poll the jury or reflect on the trial before asking for a retrial and then for the judge to have a date ready that quickly history wreaks of orchestration. He says the decision seems to be politically motivated and vindictive, aimed at making sure his client “does not have a single day of rest.” The defense has until April 18th to file motions to have the case dismissed. Mc Devitt says several motions will be filed. Wecht is accused of misusing county assets to further his private business, improperly billing clients and trading unclaimed bodies for lab space at a local college.

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