Lawyer: Subcontractor is scapegoat in Pa. collapse

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia lawyer says a subcontractor charged in a deadly building collapse is a scapegoat who was merely following orders.

The lawyer for 42-year-old Sean Benschop denies that he was impaired by marijuana and Percocet while operating machinery, as prosecutors allege. During a demolition last week, a wall collapsed, burying 19 people at an adjacent thrift store. Six died.

Lawyer Daine Grey says authorities have charged “the lowest man on the totem pole” but should focus on the contractor and building owner.

Authorities believe Benschop was using heavy equipment to remove the four-story wall. A lawyer for contractor Griffin Campbell says Campbell told him to remove the bricks by hand.

Prosecutors have opened a grand jury investigation to see whether anyone else should be charged.

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