Friday, February 12, 2016

Mistrial declared in Mengel case

After hearing argument and recessing to deliberate, Chester County Court Judge Thomas G. Gavin declared a mistrial in the murder case against Morgan M. Mengel, 36, this morning.

Mistrial declared in Mengel case


After hearing argument and recessing to deliberate, Chester County Court Judge Thomas G. Gavin declared a mistrial in the murder case against 36-year-old Morgan M. Mengel this morning.  Distraught relatives of the victim, Kevin Mengel Jr., 33, began weeping as the judge issued his decision. He said he regretted delaying closure for all the parties in the case but felt that the jury had been irrevocably tainted.

 The prejudicial remark came during the testimony of a West Goshen Township sergeant, who recalled that the defendant's father told him his daughter could be "despicable." The judge said he feared the jury might not be able to forget hearing such a damning remark, which would deprive the defendant of a fair trial. The judge commended Assistant District Attorney Deborah Ryan "for her candor to the court" in admitting that she intentionally elicited the comment, mistakenly believing that it was admissible. "I find no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct," the judge said, explaining that, as a result, the case would be retried as soon as schedules allowed.

 For more information on the case, see earlier postings. To read more about today's decision, see

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About this blog
Aubrey Whelan covers Chester County for the Inquirer. A native of a Philadelphia suburb so small it doesn't have a zip code, she grew up reading the Inquirer and was thrilled to take a job there in fall 2012. Previously, she covered crime, courts and D.C.'s Occupy movement for the Washington Examiner. Aubrey graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she worked for the award-winning campus newspaper and majored in journalism and French. Contact her at 215-495-5855 or You can also follow her on Twitter at

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