But Common Pleas Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe refused to consider the charge two weeks ago and brought in a new jury to decide on a penalty for the three convicted killers.
Yesterday, after 40 minutes of deliberations, the jury sentenced Clark Henderson, 28; George "Manzie" Russell, 20, and Prince Hagwood, 28, to life prison terms for their first-degree murder convictions in the shooting death of Ronald "Roney" Bradley, 32, in the Tasker Homes housing project on Sept. 17, 1990.
Afterward, some of the jurors told lawyers they would have acquitted the three if they had tried the case.
The Daily News has learned that a grand jury is probing a report that a woman juror had telephone conversations with another alleged gang member, Donovian "No No" Royster, while he was in prison being tried for the slaying. Royster was acquitted of the murder but convicted of lesser charges.
Assistant District Attorney Roger King asked the jury to return the death penalty. He said the Young Guns "had been terrorizing an entire neighborhood in South Philadelphia" and that when they opened fire on Bradley, they endangered others in the area and accidentally shot and killed one of their own gang members, Aaron Hainey, 23.
Attorneys Michael F. Giampietro, Daniel A. Rendine and Thomas Moore said yesterday they were confident their clients would win a new trial.
"We had asked Judge O'Keefe to delay the penalty hearing due to the jury- tampering allegations," said Giampietro.
"We felt that a sentencing hearing was premature. We should have first disposed of the outstanding issues concerning the jury tampering," he said.