Defense in Building Collapse May Call on Mayor to Testify

Lawyers for two men charged with third-degree murder in last summer's building collapse want Michael Nutter and aides to testify.

Michael Nutter may have to take the stand in a murder case, if defense lawyers have their way.

Philadelphia’s mayor is one of more than 50 potential witnesses lawyers for two men charged in last year’s building collapse at 22nd and Market submitted to the court. Seven were killed and 13 hurt in the collapse of a building under demolition.

The defense lawyers, William D. Hobson and Daine A. Grey Jr., told the Inquirer the mayor and his aides were relevant witnesses because they were involved in the investigation and redevelopment plan for the 22nd and Market site.

Demolition contractor Griffin Campbell and equipment operator Sean Benschop are both charged with multiple counts of third-degree murder. If convicted, they face mandatory life sentences.

Hobson told the Inquirer he expects prosecutors to challenge their attempts to have Nutter and his aides testify. Defense lawyers say Nutter is not suspected of any wrongdoing.