Judge Denies Defendants Philadelphia Building Collapse Motion - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Collapse on June 5, 2013 in Center City Philadelphia killed 6 and injured 13 people

Judge Denies Defendants Philadelphia Building Collapse Motion



    NBC10's Katy Zachry explains the attorney's and prosecutor's views on the deadly building collapse case. (Published Tuesday, June 3, 2014)

    A Philadelphia judge denied a request to throw out conspiracy charges against the two men implicated in last year's deadly building collapse along Market Street.

    Attorneys for excavator operator Sean Benschop and contractor Griffin Campbell argued in court on Tuesday that the men did not conspire to bring down a free-standing four story wall that landed on top of the Salvation Army Thrift Shop next door.

    The store, located on the corner of 22nd and Market Street, was full of employees and patrons at the time of the collapse on June 5, 2013. All were trapped inside underneath the wall's masonry. Ultimately 6 were killed and 13 injured.

    Benschop and Campbell's attorneys argued the men simply met to discuss the job that day and thus a conspiracy could not be established.

    Prosecutors, however, alleged the men chose to demolish the wall in an unsafe manner and did not brace the free-standing structure. The assistant district attorney also argued the men then chose to use the excavator, a large piece of machinery that causes vibrations, at the site knowing the wall was not braced.

    The judge was swayed by the prosecution's arguments and denied the defendants' motions.

    In addition to the conspiracy charge, Benschop, 43, faces six counts of third degree murder and 13 counts of reckless endangerment. Campbell, 49, is also charged with six counts of third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter as well as 13 counts of reckless endangerment.

    Thursday is the one year anniversary of the collapse.