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New attorney sought in teenager's 2011 sodomy case

9/25/2012

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

The Hays teenager who spent the last 14 months in jail awaiting trial on a series of charges, including criminal sodomy, has asked for another attorney.

If one can be found, it will be Tre Carrasco's fourth.

District Judge Ed Bouker, at the end of a nearly hour-long hearing Monday, agreed to try to find another attorney for the 17-year-old Carrasco, ordering Calvin Williams, Colby, to remain on the case until he can be replaced.

For a time, it appeared Williams would remain on the case to the end, but Bouker offered Carrasco one last chance to ask for a new attorney.

Carrasco turned in his chair and looked at his mother.

"It's going to be difficult for me to find someone," Bouker said.

"I want a new attorney," Carrasco said, after being rebuffed when he asked if Bouker could inquire and see if someone could be found.

Carrasco is charged -- as an adult -- in connection with the July 1, 2011, assault of a 50-year-old woman in the 2900 block of Country Lane. A second charge of aggravated battery, also a felony, was filed because the victim suffered a broken rib in the attack.

He also is charged with two counts of aggravated residential burglary, charges that stem from the alleged burglary of the same residence in the 500 block of East 20th on Jan. 23 and 26, 2011. A single count of misdemeanor battery was filed in connection with the Jan. 26 incident at the residence.

Monday's hearing originally was set for Carrasco's arraignment, but focused instead on the problems Williams was facing in meeting with his client, who insisted the meetings include his mother, identified in court records as Catina Edwards.

Prior to the hearing, Williams wrote a letter to both Bouker and Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees, setting out problems he's had in meeting with Carrasco. Monday's hearing didn't show many signs of improvement, with Williams refusing to discuss details of the case with Edwards.

"You are not the client," Williams said as Edwards listened in on a conversation between her son and Williams prior to the start of the hearing. "I owe you nothing. I owe him everything."

Williams walked out of the courtroom, asking Drees to join him in Bouker's chambers.

Soon, all three entered the courtroom.

During the hearing, Bouker questioned Carrasco and his mother about the problems with meeting with Williams, and Bouker said he already had been made aware of similar issues affecting the two other attorneys who had represented Carrasco.

His first attorney, Michael "Shaf" Holland, asked to be dismissed from the case, citing the inability to meet privately with Carrasco. Holland withdrew just as Carrasco was expected to agree to a plea bargain, which Drees said Monday still is on the table -- if it's accepted prior to arraignment.

Holland was replaced by Glenn Braun, who stepped aside after he was named a district judge.

Williams was appointed to the case soon after.

After discussing the situation with Carrasco and his mother, Bouker called for a short recess.

When court reconvened, Bouker said Williams would remain on the case but would decide who's involved when he and Carrasco meet.

Bouker said Carrasco can tell his mother all he wants.

"That's the best I can do," Bouker said, adding he can't force an attorney to do something not in the best interest of a client. "You need an attorney. These are very serious charges. They will have an effect on you for the rest of your life."

Bouker went on to say if Carrasco isn't willing to meet privately with Williams, Carrasco "will be responsible for representing yourself."

"Do you understand?" Bouker asked.

Carrasco said he didn't, so Bouker went back over the process.

It was as an afterthought that Bouker asked if either Williams wanted to withdraw or if Carrasco wanted a new attorney.