Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oregon standoff defendant Darryl Thorn backs away from plea deal

Oregon standoff defendant Darryl W. Thorn, who was scheduled to plead guilty Wednesday afternoon to a federal conspiracy charge stemming from the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, abruptly announced in court Wednesday morning that he had changed his mind. "I'd like to withdraw my plea today," Thorn said, standing to announce his decision during the monthly status hearing in the refuge takeover case. Thorn's court-appointed lawyer, Laurie Shertz, also asked the court to withdraw as Thorn's lawyer. It was the second time since her appointment that Shertz asked to step aside. The two met privately before U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown on Wednesday afternoon, before Brown accepted Shertz's removal from the case. The judge said she was convinced there was an "irreparable breakdown'' in the attorney-client relationship between Thorn and Shertz. About a month ago, Shertz had been ordered to remain as Thorn's lawyer despite her earlier attempt to withdraw. Thorn, of Marysville, Washington, is out of custody on pretrial release living and working in the Spokane area. He will be assigned a new court-appointed attorney, Brown said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel said the government would hold open its plea offer to Thorn "for a reasonable period of time," as he obtains a new lawyer. The details of that offer were not made public Wednesday...more

No comments: