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.