A timeline of the Wecht case
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Jan. 20, 2006 --Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, the former Allegheny County coroner, is indicted in federal court on 84 counts, including mail and wire fraud, as well as trading unclaimed bodies in exchange for use of lab space at Carlow University. He is also accused of using county resources to benefit his private business.
Sept. 12, 2006 -- The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals orders a stay in the case while it considers a request to remove U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab from the case after Dr. Wecht's defense attorneys accuse him of bias.
April 12, 2007 -- The appeals court rules in a 2-1 split that Judge Schwab should stay on the case.
Dec. 28, 2007 -- A month before the trial is scheduled to start, prosecutors drop 43 counts against Dr. Wecht, leaving 41.
Jan. 10, 2008 -- Jury selection in the Wecht trial begins.
Jan. 28, 2008 -- Opening statements begin.
March 11, 2008 -- After 22 days of testimony, the prosecution rests. The defense also rests without calling any witnesses.
March 18, 2008 -- The jury begins deliberating.
April 8, 2008 -- The jury announces that it is deadlocked. U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab declares a mistrial. The government immediately announces plans to retry Dr. Wecht.
Sept. 5, 2008 -- The 3rd Circuit rules that a retrial can move forward but must be heard by a different judge, saying that the case would benefit from a fresh set of eyes.
Oct. 31, 2008 -- The 3rd Circuit appoints U.S. District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin to take over the case.
Nov. 7, 2008 -- The U.S. Attorney's office further reduces the charges against Dr. Wecht to just 14 counts, including mail and wire fraud, and theft from a program receiving federal funds.
Jan. 29, 2009 -- Judge McLaughlin holds oral argument on outstanding motions on the case.
March 20, 2009 -- Judge McLaughlin holds additional argument.
May 14, 2009 -- Judge McLaughlin issues a lengthy opinion throwing out evidence seized from two search warrants served on Dr. Wecht's private office and on the laptop computer of his assistant. The judge said the warrants for the searches were not specific enough.
First Published May 17, 2009 12:00 am