Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lawyers ask for Charges Against Wecht to be Dismissed

Attorneys for former Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht filed a motion today to have the remaining federal counts against their client discharged. Atty. Jerry McDevitt argued the U.S Attorney’s office does not have what it needs to prove its case. He also argued that much of the evidence that would be shown to the new jury was the product of faulty and overly broad search warrants. McDevitt says the fact that the government has dropped all but 14 of the original 84 counts proves their case is weak. The US Attorney’s office is expected to file a response in two weeks. When making his filing today McDevitt walked Judge Sean McLaughlin through the entire history of the case including the declaration of a mistrial. McLaughlin was assigned the case after it was taken away from Judge Arthur Schwab.

In the meantime the U.S Attorney's Office is expected to ask Friday for a change in venue. McDevitt would have two weeks to respond to that filing. He says it is interesting the prosecution would ask for a change in venue contending they could not get a fair trial in Pittsburgh when they originally painted Cyril Wecht as a great villain who stole from the people of Allegheny County to make himself rich.

McDevitt says if this case is not heard until after the Obama administration takes office, which will most likely result in U.S. Attorney for the Western District of PA Mary Beth Buchanan leaving the office, he thinks the next person in that office will probably want to review the case and will most likely decide to stop pursuing prosecution. However, he says he does not want to win that way. He says he would rather get an acquittal.

No comments: