THE LAWYER representing one of the accused charged with the murder of four-year-old Sean Luke has withdrawn from the case.
Attorney Steadson Jack who was assigned by the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority (LAAA) to represent Akeel Mitchell said he asked the LAAA to reassign the case due to his “pressures of work.”
The matter was called on Tuesday before Justice Malcolm Holdip in the San Fernando First Criminal Court. Mitchell and Richard Chaitoo were jointly charged with killing Luke in a cane field near his Orange Valley, Couva home in March 2006. An autopsy found the child died from internal bleeding caused when a cane stalk was inserted through his rectum.
Jack told the court his appointment from the LAAA was “quite recent”. The court documents showed the letter of appointment was dated December 2 2016. Jack said he received the letter in January of this year.
“I have since written Legal Aid asking to reassign the matter because of pressures of work.” He said the letter was sent this month and he was yet to receive a response.
Asked about the steps he had taken to advance the case, Jack said he has spoken to the instructing attorney who was attempting to obtain the notes of evidence recorded at the magistrates’ court. Holdip suggested that the instructing attorney contact the DPP’s office or a State attorney, the court’s registry or the LAAA for a copy of the document.
Mitchell, 24, who was represented by attorney Wayne Sturge in the past, asked to be able to address the court.
He said he could “offer a next way.” He said he made “complaints and pleas to people that seem fit to help me” and an attorney had shown interest in the matter.
Mitchell, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, said his family had spoken to this lawyer.
Mitchell also said he had spoken to President Anthony Carmona when he recently visited the prison. “I met the honourable Mr Carmona and he told me to write him.”
Chaitoo said his attorney was Keith Scotland who was privately retained by his family. He said Scotland had visited him at the prison and he (Chaitoo) had given the attorney information pertaining to the case.
State prosecutor Stacy Laloo-Chong that “the State remained ready throughout the matter.”
The matter was adjourned to June 13 when further information is expected on Mitchell’s representation.
Source: Trinidad Express http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20170516/news/lawyer-withdraws-in-sean-luke-murder-case