Judge grants accused cop-killer Poplawski last attorney change
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An Allegheny County judge today told accused cop-killer Richard Poplawski that his game of "lawyer roulette," is over.
Mr. Poplawski, 24, had previously asked for the attorney representing him in the death penalty phase to be removed, which the judge granted. He then appointed another lawyer, James DePasquale, to represent Mr. Poplawski.
But that, too, has now changed.
Mr. DePasquale is off the case, and now William Brennan will represent Mr. Poplawski if he is found guilty of first-degree murder, and the trial moves into the penalty phase.
Judge Jeffrey A. Manning announced the change this morning at a status conference in the case.
"I am done playing lawyer roulette," he said. "You will cooperate with counsel appointed for you or you will represent yourself. Do you understand that?"
"Yes," Mr. Poplawski answered.
The judge also announced that he was denying all of Mr. Poplawski's outstanding pre-trial motions -- including those to suppress statements he made and to stop the use of evidence found on his laptop computer.
Attorneys for both Mr. Poplawski and the district attorney's office agreed they would be ready for the April trial date. All of the evidence has been turned over, said Deputy District Attorney Mark V. Tranquilli, except the recording of one phone call from the morning of the April 4, 2009, ambush and shootout that left three Pittsburgh police officers dead.
A Bank of America salesperson called Mr. Poplawski's residence that morning, the prosecutor said, to make an inquiry.
Mr. Poplawski responded, "I'm in a shootout with police. You're out of luck."
First Published September 20, 2010 12:18 pm