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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Mark Hannibal

Spokane child killer gets 36 years

A Spokane man who pleaded guilty to killing a 1-year-old and beating another infant blind and brain damage was sentenced Monday to more than 36 years in prison.

James R. Cooley, 24, apologized the families of the children he abused and said he wished he could bring the dead child back, his attorney Mark Hannibal said. “But there is no way to do that.”

Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno sentenced Cooley to the high end of both second-degree murder for the dead child and first-degree assault for the toddler Cooley blinded.

“There is no amount of time I can give you that will make sense of this or restore what these people lost,” Moreno said.

Judge rejects mom-based lawyer plea

A 50-year-old Spokane man recently sentenced to prison for drugs won't be allowed to retain his publicly funded lawyer while he awaits legal advice from his mother, a judge ruled Monday.

Vernon V. Jackson had objected to public defender Mark Hannibal's routine request to withdraw as his attorney after Jackson was sentenced last week to two years in prison for three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Jackson said Monday that he spoke with his mother after he pleaded guilty and “might have a change of heart” but needed to talk to his mother again. He wanted Hannibal to stay on as his attorney just in case.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese asked Jackson if his mother was a lawyer. He said no, but she “has lawyer skills.”

“I wanted to become an attorney, but I messed up,” Jackson said.

Plese denied Jackson's request, noting there was no legal basis for Hannibal to continue to represent him. Jackson can still try to change his plea once he talks to his mother even without a lawyer currently assigned.

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