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Demolition Contractor Convicted Of 6 Counts Of Involuntary Manslaughter In Philadelphia Building Collapse

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A jury has found demolition contractor Griffin Campbell guilty on six counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2013 Market Street building collapse in Center City that left six dead.

KYW's Steve Tawa reports it was a swift verdict, made in about five hours of deliberations in the two-week long trial.

The jury acquitted Campbell of the more serious third degree murder charges, for which he could have faced life in prison, if found guilty of more than one count.

The jury did find him guilty of 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person - for those who were injured in the Salvation Army thrift shop at 22nd and Market Streets.

Assistant DA Jennifer Selber says the jury believed Campbell was criminally responsible.

"I hope it does provide some semblance of closure in something as horrible and overwhelming as this kind of tragedy," said Selber.

Defense lawyer William Hobson maintained his client was a "scapegoat" to higher ups who wanted the job done quickly and cheaply.

"I believe the civil litigation will tell the complete and true story of all of the participants and all the players at layers far above Griffin Campbell and Sean Benschop," said Hobson.

Heavy equipment operator Sean Benschop pleaded guilty to the very same charges, including involuntary manslaughter in a plea arrangement with the DA's office that will have him serving no more than 20 years in prison.

Both will be sentenced in January.


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