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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: public defenders

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.

New leader for federal public defenders

Andrea George moved to Spokane from Minnesota to become the executive director of the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho. (SRPhoto/Jesse Tinsley)

Andrea K. George has just begun as the new executive director of the team of attorneys representing indigent crime suspects in Spokane and North Idaho. But the Wisconsin native is sure of one thing: The worst of Spokane’s weather doesn’t scare her at all.

“If this is what the winters are like, I can handle this,” George said with a laugh. “I love it.”

Last month, George replaced outgoing executive director Roger Peven at Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho in the job that advertised a salary of $155,000 a year.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

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