A man accused of several charges, including assaulting a police officer, was denied the option to choose a different public defender in Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe’s courtroom yesterday.
David Michealedes, who is charged with two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, intimidating a witness, harassment, stalking and fourth-degree criminal property damage, said he didn’t feel he was getting proper representation with public defender Eric Moon.
During the hearing to withdraw as his attorney, Moon told Watanabe that he intended no longer to represent Michealedes because, “Mr. Michealedes feels that I am pushing for a compromise in this situation because of the caseload at the public defender’s office,” Moon said. “He doesn’t feel we are representing him in his best interest.”
Michealedes said he felt that he has been denied his right to a speedy trial, noting he wasn’t aware of the content contained in paperwork Moon had him sign for continuances over the past year.
Frustrated that the lack of timeliness had adversely affected his case, Michealedes said, “It could have been the only leverage for this to be thrown out.”
Watanabe denied Moon’s motion, but acknowledged the prescient issue of caseloads and the burden on the judicial system to be efficient.
“If the court were to grant a motion every time based on the public defender’s office being too busy, the court would be granting those motions every week.”
After the hearing, Michealedes said he felt the plea bargains hashed out between the public defender’s and prosecuting attorney’s offices that were offered to him were unfair.
“I’m being completely misrepresented,” Michealedes said. “I got 15 years I’m facing and I’ve got a total-combined time of 55 minutes to an hour with the attorneys.”