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Date set in 2011 for Piazza double murder trial

The trial date for those charged in last summer's double murder at the Piazza in Northern Liberties has been set for November 2011.

Attorneys on both sides attempted to schedule a trial for a sooner date, but the multiple defendants and lawyers involved with the case meant conflicts were unavoidable.

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the June 26, 2009 killings of Rian Thal and Timothy Gilmore, including a man accused of masterminding the murder plot and a woman who is expected to plead guilty to helping the gunmen stake out the victims.

Thal and Gilmore were gunned down June 26, 2009, outside Thal's apartment in the upscale Piazza at Schmidts complex in Northern Liberties.

Police, who have described Thal as a drug dealer and Gilmore as her accomplice, have said the murders were a result of a drug robbery gone bad. Three gunmen hid in the stairwells near Thal's apartment, ambushed her and Gilmore, then fled. Police later found eight pounds of cocaine and more than $110,000 cash in Thal's apartment.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the alleged three gunmen in the case. Will "Pooh" Hook, the alleged mastermind of the killings, faces life in prison.

Thal, 34, worked as a local party promoter, while Gilmore, 40, was a former Detroit firefighter who lived in Ohio.