09:14, June 06 312 0 abajournal.com

2017-06-06 09:14:04
Man in jail for 10 years awaiting murder trial wants court to toss the charge

An Alabama man who has been held without bail for 10 years on a murder charge is asking a judge to toss the case against him for violation of his right to a speedy trial.

A Houston County, Alabama, judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider the motion filed on behalf of Kharon Davis of Dothan, the Associated Press and the Dothan Eagle report.

The motion filed by lawyer Thomas Goggans claims the court caused “over four years of down time” by failing to resolve a conflict of interest involving Davis’ first lawyer—whose son was an investigating police officer in the case.

The first lawyer, Ben Meredith, represented Davis at a preliminary hearing in July 2007 where Meredith’s son testified. A prosecutor raised the relationship issue in an October 2011 hearing, where Ben Meredith said he could diligently represent Davis, according to the Dothan Eagle account.

“He’s my son outside the courtroom,” Meredith said at the 2011 hearing. “Inside the courtroom, he is just another witness, and I will eat him up.”

Davis later said he had no problem with Meredith representing him, but Judge Kevin Moulton removed Meredith from the case, according to prior coverage by the Associated Press. Davis’ mother, Chrycynthia Ward Davis, said she hired Meredith because he had represented her in an accident lawsuit.

Davis fired a second lawyer appointed to represent him because of trial delays. The third lawyer cited a conflict of interest and withdrew after a few weeks. Goggans was appointed in June 2016.

Prosecutors say Davis’ firing of the second lawyer contributed to the case delay and the state was not at fault.