Daine A. Grey Jr., the lawyer for Benschop, and William D. Hobson, representing Griffin, each blamed the other's client for the collapse and argued there was no conspiracy to maximize profits by avoiding the expense of proper demolition.
"In no way was he in a partnership," Grey told Lerner. "He was a day worker following his employer's instructions."
Lerner, however, warned Grey that "your client is going down a dangerous path when you're suggesting that any time somebody tells you to do something wrong - and you agree to do something wrong - that you're not part of that agreement."
Hobson argued that the prosecution's only evidence of a conspiracy was Benschop's statement to a federal safety inspector for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Hobson said he will move to have the two tried separately to avoid prejudice to Campbell of having to address Benschop's statement if both were on trial at the same time.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Selber argued that both had enough experience in demolition work to understand that an unsupported four-story wall was likely to collapse.
"It was plain to anyone who looked at it," Selber added. "They knew it was dangerous."
Campbell is charged with six counts of third-degree murder.
Benschop, whose real name is Kary Roberts, is charged with six counts of third-degree manslaughter.
Both are charged with conspiracy and related crimes, including 13 counts of reckless endangerment involving those injured in the thrift store.
Griffin has been held without bail since his Nov. 25 arrest.
Benschop was arrested several days after the collapse when he tested positive for using marijuana. He remains in prison on $1.55 million bail.