PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 8, 2016) – The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) today announced that Griffin Campbell was sentenced to 15 – 30 years in prison and Sean Benshop was sentenced to
7 1/2 -15 years in prison for the death of six people, and injury to others, in the June 5, 2013, Market St. Salvation Army Building collapse. Campbell’s and Benshop’s sentence reflects the nature of their crimes and the suffering of the victims. We now know justice has been served.
“I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and grief Mr. Campbell and Mr. Benshop caused the friends and families of those who lost their lives, and those who were injured, when the Market Street Salvation Army Building was crushed by a four-story, unsupported masonry wall in June of 2013,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “The Assistant District Attorneys who prosecuted this case and me hope that today’s sentences make clear the need for safe demolitions in our city and, most importantly, it helps to bring closure to the victims’ loved ones who are still dealing with this tragedy.”
In October of 2015, Griffin Campbell was 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. 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.
In July of 2015, 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. 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.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Selber who is the Chief of the DAO’s Homicide Unit and Edward Cameron who is the Assistant Chief of the DAO’s Homicide Unit prosecuted the collapse cases.