A shackled Allen Prue
entered a St. Johnsbury courtroom Monday.
The murder suspect's mom
still stands behind her son.
"I have to support
him. He's my son," Donna Prue said. "It's pretty hard, but I have to
Sixteen months after her
son and daughter-in-law, Patricia Prue, were charged with the abduction and
murder of 33-year-old school teacher Melissa Jenkins, their trials are still on
hold. The proceedings have been plagued by delays, from the defendants demanding
new trial locations, to refusing DNA samples and now requests for new lawyers.
Ten days ago, a judge
ordered Patricia Prue's lawyer off the case. Now, her husband is seeking a
similar outcome. Allen Prue asked the court to dismiss his lawyer, Dan Maguire,
"It's not my
decision; it's his," Donna Prue said. "He hasn't been happy with this
one. I don't know why."
Monday, prosecutors told
the court Maguire could be called as a witness in the state's case. And Maguire
revealed he recently learned one of his clients will also testify against the
"In order to avoid
all of those issues that might affect his ability to provide competent and
unconflicted representation, the court will grant both motions for Mr. Maguire
to leave the case," Vt. Superior Court
Judge Mary Miles Teachout said.
The name of Maguire's
mystery client was never mentioned before the judge, but a check of court
records shows Maguire currently represents Raymond Crickard, 53. The Lunenburg
man has been convicted of possessing child pornography and is currently
incarcerated for multiple pending charges of aggravated child sex assault. So,
what's the connection to the Jenkins case? WCAX News has learned Crickard is
dating the defendant's mom, Donna Prue. Maguire declined to discuss the
"I already have two
new lawyers for them and it wasn't a big challenge," Vermont Defender
General Matthew Valerio said.
Valerio says Bob Katims
will represent Allen Prue and attorney Rob Sussman will defend Patricia.
"The biggest issue is
the lawyers that are in the Northeast Kingdom may have had some contact with
potential witnesses or the like. But it's not really an issue with regard to
lawyers. The two lawyers now are out of Burlington, so I don't think it's that
big of a deal," Valerio said.
The Prues will be tried
separately, but their trials will remain in Caledonia County. September court
dates have been set in both cases, giving the new lawyers time to review case
files. Pretrial schedules will be set in September.
As for a lawyer being
called to testify against his former client, the defender general says
attorney-client privilege does apply, but in this case Dan Maguire would be
testifying about chain of custody regarding computer evidence that was acquired
during the time Mr. Maguire represented Allen Prue. However, most of the time
prosecutors and defenders work out an agreement so the lawyer does not have to
testify and the defender general says that will likely happen in this case.
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