Wecht lawyers seek dismissal
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Attorneys for Dr. Cyril H. Wecht yesterday asked a judge for the third time to recuse himself from a scheduled retrial and also filed a motion to dismiss the case on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.
Saying U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab showed "persistent favoritism" to federal prosecutors pursuing corruption charges against the former Allegheny County coroner, the recusal motion included the signed affidavit of Stanley Albright, the juror dismissed during deliberations for health reasons.
Mr. Albright left deliberations early on April 1, fearing he was experiencing heart problems. While at UPMC Shadyside undergoing tests, a court bailiff asked him if he wished to be dismissed, but Mr. Albright said he did not, according to the affidavit.
The official court record states, however, that Mr. Albright requested not to continue because he couldn't deal with the "stress of deliberations."
"That is simply not accurate," Mr. Albright said in the affidavit.
In the motion to dismiss, the defense again raises the argument that the government illegally searched the private business of Dr. Wecht.
Dr. Wecht's attorneys believe the evidence obtained in the search and the alleged concealment is central to the prosecution's case.
First Published April 22, 2008 12:00 am