Legal News

Murder Defendant Denied Counsel, Sues Public Defenders
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Prison sucks.A murder defendant who has been denied legal representation for eight months is suing the head of the Georgia public defender system.

“This is surely an unprecedented deprivation of counsel in modern times,” said the lawsuit, filed for Jamie Ryan Weis by prominent Atlanta lawyers Stephen Bright, Sarah Geraghty, Ed Garland and Don Samuel.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Weis for the 2006 killing of Catherine King.


Since April, Weis has been sitting in jail awaiting trial without lawyers to represent him. The lawsuit was filed after trial judge Johnnie Caldwell scheduled a January 5th hearing on the case.

“It’s frustrating,” Pike County District Attorney Scott Ballard said. “We’ll be ready to prosecute just as soon as they’re ready.”

The suit was filed in Fulton County Superior Court against Robert “Mack” Crawford, director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, and Gerry Word, acting head of the capital defender’s office.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Weis’ case has highlights the budgetary problems plaguing the state’s public defender system.

Weis’ two appointed lawyers, Bob Citronberg and Tom West, were removed from the case in November 2007 when the cash-strapped defender system did not have the money to pay them.

Two local public defenders were ordered to take over the case, but they objected, saying they already had crushing caseloads and had neither the time nor the resources to defend a capital case.

At a court hearing in April, an agreement was reached to return Citronberg and West to the case, provided that Crawford sign a contract allowing them to be paid. That has yet to occur.

Crawford should have signed the contract long ago, the suit said. “He should not have delayed the reinstatement of counsel for eight days; the delay of eight months is unconscionable.”

Weis’ suit seeks a court order reinstating Citronberg and West as his lawyers.

Separately, the lawyers filed a motion Wednesday in Pike County objecting to Monday’s court hearing because Weis has no criminal defense lawyers.





USA-CA-San Ramon

Currently looking for an experienced Paralegal to fill an opening with a family law firm located in ...

Apply now

Litigation Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Small boutique trial law firm seeks attorney with extensive law and motion and courtroom experience....

Apply now

Bilingual Paralegal


Small personal injury law firm in Rockville seeking bilingual (Spanish) person for a full-time, on-s...

Apply now

Post-Conviction Resource Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

POSITION: Post-Conviction Resource Attorney LOCATION: Hybrid work model; required travel to on-si...

Apply now




Search Now

Venture Capital Attorney

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks corporate business attorney with...

Apply Now

Real Estate Attorney

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks transactional real estate attorn...

Apply Now

Experienced Health Care Attorney


Portland office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm is seeking health care attorney with 5-...

Apply Now


To Top