After murder suspect William Cosby protested that public defender Charles Baricevic wouldn’t plead self defense for him, a new lawyer did exactly that.
Lloyd Cueto entered the case as assistant public defender on Jan. 28, represented Cosby at a hearing on Feb. 7, and filed notice of intention to assert self defense on Feb. 21.
Circuit Judge Robert Haida, who overturned a jury verdict against Cosby because heroin addict Michael Cook presided over the trial, plans a new trial starting April 21.
Cosby has moved to fire Baricevic twice. Haida denied the motions, but each time Cosby achieved the result he wanted.
Last August, after Cosby complained that Baricevic wouldn’t move for a new trial, Baricevic moved for a new trial.
Haida granted it in October, and set trial Feb. 24.
On Dec. 16, Cosby moved to withdraw Baricevic.
“Counsel has a conflict of interest position borne out of his representing one of the drug defendant’s involvement in the courthouse drug scandal and more directly his father who happens to be the Chief Judge and who went on record stating of the 1,700 cases that Judge Cook presided over no case was compromised,” Cosby wrote.
In the motion, Cosby also wrote that without tipping his hand, he would be glad to offer proof, present witnesses and submit evidence in support of his motion.
He wrote that Baricevic fought with his family and expressed dissatisfaction with them for assisting him with witnesses and testimony. He stated that the fighting might prevent evidence in his favor from coming forth.
He wrote that he is caught in the middle, and he quoted Abe Lincoln that a house divided cannot stand.
Baricevic “has shown a lackluster interest in this case due to the defendant’s filing of the first motion to withdraw counsel,” he wrote.
“Defendant has no confidence in Counsel’s willingness to present a full defense as he (Counsel) refuses to interview witnesses and devote attention to the defendant’s legal claim of self defense. My family and I have repeatedly advised Counsel that I was going to exert self defense at the onset.”
He wrote that Baricevic has been rude to his family. When his girlfriend inquired about his court schedule, Baricevic said, “Who are you, his lawyer?” Cosby wrote
“This conduct was unprovoked and unwarranted from my own counselor. Counselor’s unprofessional conduct ran off a potential defense witness and helped create animosity.”
Haida denied the motion at a hearing on Jan. 14.
Cosby moved for psychiatric examination on Jan. 16, pleading low IQ and little education.
He wrote that he could be another Rodney Woidtke, a local man who spent years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
He wrote that at the hearing, the state and his counsel defeated him.
“I got steamed rolled,” he wrote.
Haida denied the motion on Jan. 23.
Cosby’s persistence paid off five days later, when Cueto suddenly stepped in to carry the family’s claim of self defense.
Cosby’s trial will follow two weeks after that of Gregory Muse, who won a new trial before Haida after jurors convicted him in Cook’s court.
Haida planned pretrial hearings in both cases on March 28.