Mistrial in robbery case vs. Seton Hall ex-player

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.