Judge grants murder suspect's request for new lawyers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Judge grants murder suspect's request for new lawyers

A judge granted a request from Martinez for new lawyers. A judge granted a request from Martinez for new lawyers.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A murder suspect who investigators said confessed to being a hitman for a Mexican drug cartel will be getting new lawyers.

A judge granted Jose Martinez's request for new lawyers during an appearance in court, Thursday. Martinez told the judge he felt the attorneys he had weren't responding to his letters or calls, so he wanted new counsel.

Judge Mark Craig read a letter Martinez sent to his attorneys that read, "Don't get near me. Don't look at me. Don't try to talk to me." Craig told Martinez that it is not uncommon for lawyers to not respond to every message from their client.

The judge told Martinez his court-appointed lawyers, Mike Terry and Christine Graham, were the most experienced available, but he agreed to the suspect's motion, in part because the attorneys themselves filed a motion to withdraw from the case.

Martinez is accused of killing Jose Ruiz last year in Lawrence County. Investigators said he told them he also killed dozens of people in other states.

During Thursday's proceedings, the judge also delayed his trial date from April to June because of a scheduling conflict. Judge Craig said that with new attorneys who must now get up-to-speed on the case, it is possible for the trial to be pushed back further.

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