Stunning mistrial in CBP murder case

Lawyers for three men accused in the 2009 beating death of a Phillies fan outside Citizens Bank Park are expected to ask that the charges be dropped one day after the judge declared a mistrial.

Common Pleas Court Judge Shelley Robins New ruled that the prosecutor did not disclose to the defense that a witness would make an identification after Ryan Tulino made a surprise revelation on Monday when he identified Francis Kirchner as the man who delivered the fatal kick to David Sale’s head. New said the “blurt out” created a situation where the assistant district attorney might have to take the stand to undercut his own witness.

The attorneys are expected to reconvene today to discuss a retrial date, but the defense attorneys claim that would constitute double jeopardy.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Sax said it was the first time in 31 years as a prosecutor he’d had a mistrial declared during a trial.

“I respect the court, but I disagree completely with the necessity of a mistrial,” Sax said. Kirchner is charged with first-degree murder. Charles Bowers and James Groves are charged with third-degree murder.


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