2011-11-24 / Local & State

Witness Refuses To Testify In Philly Double Murder

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Prosecutors and defense attorneys return Monday to argue whether a witness should be held in contempt for refusing to testify in a double murder inside a trendy Philadelphia apartment building two years ago.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says 35-year- old Donnell Murchison threw the case into turmoil Friday by reneging on a promise to testify for the prosecution.

Forty-three-year-old Will Hook, 44-year-old Edward Daniels and 30-year-old Antonio Wright are charged in what authorities call the drug-related June 2009 slayings of 34-year-old Rian Thal and 40-year- old Timothy Gilmore at the newly opened Piazza at Schmidts in the Northern Liberties neighborhood.

As jury selection began, Murchison pleaded guilty to murder and promised to testify in exchange for prosecutors taking the death penalty off the table and providing protection for his family.

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