Murder suspect wants public defender Baricevic off case; New trial granted after conviction in drug-involved judge's court

By The Madison County Record | Aug 13, 2014

Murder suspect William Cosby, who twice achieved results he wanted by trying to fire public defender Charles Baricevic, pleads again for a new lawyer.

Cosby moved to withdraw Baricevic on Aug. 6, writing that he “expressed hate for the family of the defense and refuses to get past this and work with family witnesses and others that have relevant testimony to offer.”

He asked Circuit Judge Robert Haida to assign public defender Lloyd Cueto, currently Baricevic’s assistant on the case, as his counsel at a trial set to start on Sept. 8.

Cosby wrote that Baricevic has hampered Cueto in making a claim of self defense, “to deliberately destroy his efforts on the defendant’s behalf.”

Jurors convicted Cosby in April of last year in the court of former judge Michael Cook, finding he shot and killed Antwan Thomas.

Baricevic moved for a new trial last May 15, assigning various errors to Cook.

A week later, federal agents arrested Cook on heroin possession charges.

Cosby moved to withdraw Baricevic last August, writing that Baricevic would not amend the new trial motion to allege that Cook’s heroin addiction deprived him of a fair trial.
Haida denied Cosby’s motion for a new lawyer, but Baricevic amended the new trial motion as Cosby wished.

Haida then granted a new trial in October, citing a rule that requires a new trial upon a showing of a judge’s prejudice.

Cosby asked for a new lawyer again in December, writing that Baricevic would not argue self defense or communicate with his family.

Haida again denied the motion, but public defender Lloyd Cueto entered his appearance for Cosby and filed notice that Cosby would claim self defense.

Haida set trial to start April 21, but continued it to Sept. 8 by agreement between Cosby and the state.

According to Cosby’s new motion, the continuance was solely for the benefit of the prosecution.

Cosby wrote that Baricevic “is allowing the state time to re-prepare for trial yet has allowed the defendant’s case and earnest legal work to come to an abrupt halt.”

Baricevic “is not representing the client’s best interest and is only interviewing defense witnesses if the family brings them to his office door,” Cosby wrote.

He wrote that attempts to have Baricevic furnish documents and contact defense witnesses fell on “deaf legal ears.”

“Defendant has been in the county jail for over 820 days and it is mentally harsh,” Cosby wrote.


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