Mistrial in Kelly Whitney's robbery case

Updated: June 1, 2011, 8:47 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. -- A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the armed robbery prosecution of a former Seton Hall basketball player after jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

Kelly Whitney was accused of robbing several students in an off-campus apartment in March 2010.

Former Pirates player Robert Mitchell pleaded guilty and testified against Whitney, saying he and Whitney robbed the students at gunpoint. But jurors were unable to reach a verdict on any of the 27 counts Whitney faced.

The Essex County prosecutor's office said it plans to retry the 6-foot-8 Whitney, who played for Seton Hall from 2002 to 2006 and finished his career with 1,448 points.

During the trial, several students testified about being robbed, but only one identified Whitney. Whitney's attorney cast doubt on the identification and accused Mitchell of lying about his friend's involvement.

Whitney didn't leave fingerprints or DNA evidence at the scene because he wore gloves, assistant prosecutor Chris Ruzich contended.

The robbery occurred a day after then-coach Bobby Gonzalez kicked Mitchell off the team in a dispute over playing time. The Pirates were then routed in the opening round of the NIT by Texas Tech, and Gonzalez was fired a day later.

Whitney and Mitchell were arrested separately a few days after the robbery.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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