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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Judge declines to provide outside counsel to suspect who has waited 30 months in jail as his attorneys keep quitting

July 26, 2019 Updated Fri., July 26, 2019 at 10:02 p.m.

William B. Mitchell, 72, asked a judge to kick the Spokane County Public Defender’s Office off his case on Thursday. (Will Campbell/SR)
William B. Mitchell, 72, asked a judge to kick the Spokane County Public Defender’s Office off his case on Thursday. (Will Campbell/SR)

A Spokane County Jail inmate who has waited 30 months without a trial and who has had four public defenders assigned to his case was stalled Thursday in his request for another new attorney.

William B. Mitchell, 72, asked a judge to kick the Spokane County Public Defender’s Office off his case during a Thursday hearing.

But Spokane County Superior Court Judge Julie McKay declined to take that action, citing a lack of new information presented.

Mitchell was arrested in January 2017 for allegedly being involved in a robbery. He was accused of being the getaway driver after another man stole a drone from a Walmart customer in the store’s parking lot. When driving away, a victim of the robbery held onto the car and banged his knees.

Mitchell’s case is higher profile because a conviction would be his third strike, and he would spend the rest of his life in jail.

McKay said she also did not rule on Mitchell’s request on Thursday because she was unsure she had that authority, considering the same request was presented to Judge Maryann Moreno last month. Moreno denied the request at that time.

Public Defender Heather Weir represented Mitchell at Thursday’s hearing but as of Friday was no longer assigned to his case, according to Tom Krzyminski, director of the county Public Defender’s Office.

McKay said she would consider the request for outside counsel if she were properly briefed and had complete information.

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