Court refuses to dismiss pathologist's charges

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A federal appeals court has refused to dismiss fraud and theft charges against celebrity pathologist Cyril Wecht.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab be replaced on the case.

Last month, Wecht's attorneys asked that the case be dismissed on double jeopardy grounds. The appeals court ruled that Schwab didn't follow proper procedure in declaring a mistrial on April 8 but the error wasn't enough to dismiss the 41 counts against Wecht.

A jury deadlocked in April in the trial.

Wecht is accused of using his former Allegheny County coroner's staff to benefit his multimillion-dollar private business. He's earned millions investigating deaths, including those of JonBenet Ramsey and Elvis Presley.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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