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|Harrell Out; Motion Under Advisement in Sheley Case
|UPDATED 4:38pm 2/19/10 The man who was the so-called "lead counsel" in the local case against accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley is officially out, a co-counsel was moved to the top, and another attorney was brought in.
Knox County Circuit Court Judge James Stewart Friday granted the motion by Knox County Public Defender Jim Harrell to withdraw from the case, following a nearly hour-long closed-door hearing that Stewart said was necessary in order to maintain attorney-client privilege, and because some of those questions would come up while discussing the motion.
Stewart, calling the motion "kind of unusual," agreed with documents filed by Harrell indicating that there was a "breakdown" in attorney-client communications.
Stewart referred to attorney Jeremy Karlin as "de facto" lead counsel prior to now, but approved him officially being the top attorney for Sheley, and also appointed attorney Anthony Vaupel -- the only other attorney in Knox County certified to try capital cases -- to be appointed co-counsel.
Stewart also advised he'd also take under advisement a prosecution motion to seal a previous motion asking that evidence related to crimes Sheley committed before the June, 2008 death of 65-year old Ronald Randall be excluded.
Prosecutors contend that allowing such evidence to be put in the open would harm Sheley's right to a fair trial, while Karlin claims it would instead violate Sheley's right to an open trial, and that instead of considering to seal the evidence, maybe Stewart should reconsider his denial of a motion to change the trial's venue.
Attorneys will meet via teleconference April 9th to schedule further dates in the case.
(Nicholas Sheley. WGIL News File Photo.)
|02 19 10 by Newsroom
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