Lawyer Shuffle Causes Delays in Jewell Washington’s Preliminary Hearing

A preliminary hearing for Jewell Washington was delayed twice this week: once to allow her attorney time to discuss a plea offer with her and again when it could not be determined who was legally representing Washington.

Washington is suspected of second-degree murder in connection with the the Oct. 11 stabbing death of Mark Goldring. Charging documents indicate that Goldring and Washington are half- or step- siblings and that the argument may have been domestic in nature. Washington was presented with the murder charge Oct. 12; her first scheduled preliminary hearing was postponed.

Washington’s first appearance before the court this week was Thursday for the rescheduled preliminary hearing.

At that hearing Assistant US Attorney Emily Miller informed Judge Richter that a plea offer had been extended to Washington but that it was only valid until a preliminary hearing was begun. Washington’s attorney, to whom the case was transferred Wednesday, said he had not had adequate time to review the offer which sought a guilty plea to one count of voluntary manslaughter while armed.

Richter rescheduled the hearing for Friday morning to allow Washington time to discuss the deal with her new attorney.

But at that hearing Friday, Washington and her family could not tell Richter who was representing her. Court records and appearances indicate that William Roberts of the Public Defender’s Service was initially appointed to the case. Private attorney Wendell Robinson entered his appearance Thursday and said that he had taken the case and had picked up the case information.

On Friday, Washington’s mother and sister, each called before the court, told Richter that they intended for private attorney Justin Okezie to represent Washington but neither said they had discussed the case with him nor paid him.

The case is scheduled to be called again Monday by Judge Gerald Fisher to ascertain who is representing Washington. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for the same day.

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