The defense attorney for Colin Abbott, who was sentenced to decades in prison last month in the Butler County killings of his father and stepmother, has filed papers asking her client be appointed new counsel.
Attorney Wendy Williams filed the documents Tuesday in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas requesting that Judge William Shaffer remove her from the case.
Abbott, 42, of Randolph, N.J., pleaded no contest Feb. 26 in the deaths of Kenneth and Celeste Abbott, whose charred remains were found on their property near Slippery Rock in July 2011.
Judge Shaffer sentenced Abbott to between 35 and 80 years in prison, a decision prosecutors considered essentially a life sentence.
On March 6, Abbott filed a motion to withdraw his plea, citing concerns that was under "emotional distress" at sentencing and did not have enough to time consider the decision. By law, he has 10 days to withdraw his plea.
In the five-page motion, Abbott wrote that he was unable to consult with family first and that Ms. Williams told him Judge Shaffer needed his plea the same day he had been in court for a status conference.
The demand to take a plea that day, he wrote, also allowed no time to view "reports pertinent to this case" that would help aid in his defense. He wrote that he received those documents two days after the sentencing hearing.
Abbott is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a hearing to address the motion to withdraw.
Molly Born: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.