PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 19, 2015) – The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office today announced that Griffin Campbell has been found guilty by a jury of his peers of six counts of Involuntary Manslaughter, 13 counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, one count of Causing a Catastrophe and one count of Aggravated Assault for his role in the June 5, 2013, collapse of the Market St. Salvation Army Building.
“No verdict can replace the lives that were lost on that June morning, but I hope today’s verdict brings more closure and healing to the friends and families of those who were injured and lost their lives,” said Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams. “On behalf of the men and women of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, we offer our heartfelt condolences with the hopes that today’s verdict will be a powerful reminder that jobsite safety is paramount and if someone breaks the law like Griffin Campbell and Sean Benschop did, they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Campbell was responsible for the demolition of the property that was located at 2140 Market St. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations at the site, Campbell put in place a demolition plan that left a four-story masonry wall unsupported above the Salvation Army Building.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 8, 2016.
“This was a very complicated and unique case that was full of expert testimony, engineering concepts and powerful witness testimony. I’d like to thank the grand jury, today’s jury and all of the staff for working so hard on the case. Additionally, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Selber who is the Chief of our Homicide Unit and Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron who is the Assistant Chief of our Homicide Unit deserve special congratulations for leading our prosecution team today – great job,” added Williams.
In July, Sean Benschop plead guilty to six counts of Involuntary Manslaughter and the additional charges of Aggravated Assault, Conspiracy, Causing a Catastrophe and thirteen Counts of Reckless Endangerment. He could be sentenced to a maximum of 10-20 years in prison on October 23, 2015.
Benschop was the operator of an excavator that was used to demolish the building next to the Salvation Army building when it collapsed killing Juanita Harmon, Roseline Conteh, Mary Simpson, Kimberly Finnegan, Anne Bryan and Borbor Davis. Mariya Plekan suffered serious and permanent injury.