A Philadelphia judge has declared a mistrial for three city men accused of beating a Lansdale man to death more than two years ago.
The judge said it was impossible for the trial to continue because the prosecution failed to tell the defense that a witness would identify two of the three defendants. Court rules require prosecutors to reveal incriminating evidence, including identifications, to the defense. The witness, Ryan Tulino, was a friend of the 22-year-old victim, David Sale, who was brutally punched and kicked outside a Phillies game. Police said the men jumped him during an alcohol-fueled fight. The judge set a hearing for Wednesday to re-schedule the trial of 37-year-old Charles Bowers, 48-year-old James Groves and 30-year-old Francis Kirchner. Bowers and Groves are charged with third degree murder, while Kirchner is charged with first degree murder as the man who allegedly delivered a fatal kick to Sale’s Head. Kirchner’s lawyer, Jack McMahon, says he will move to bar a re-trial on the grounds that his client could not be fairly re-tried because of prosecutorial misconduct. Witnesses said the three attackers were with a group from Moe’s Tavern, a Fishtown bar that sponsored a bus trip to the game, while sale was there with a bachelor party.