Pair face murder trial in Philly building collapse

COURT-JURY-JUDICIAL-GAVEL-LAW-JUSTICE-LEGAL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A second demolition worker is now charged with murder in the deaths of six people killed in a Philadelphia building collapse.

A judge upgraded charges against backhoe operator Sean Benschop to third-degree murder, after hearing new evidence presented at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Selber said Benschop had previously been warned by city inspectors not to use heavy equipment near an unstable wall.

Prosecutors also say he had drugs in his system the day of the June collapse, when an unsupported wall crashed down on a Salvation Army store.

The judge Tuesday also upheld the same six murder charges against demolition contractor Griffin Campbell.

Benschop and Campbell remain in prison. They are also charged with involuntary manslaughter and causing a catastrophe.

Their lawyers did not immediately return messages.

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