Northwood murder suspect files complaint over lawyer

Published 10:08am Monday, March 31, 2014

NORTHWOOD — The Northwood man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Swensrud Park last August has filed complaints with a Worth County judge against his public defender.

The complaints via letter come after Tyrone Robin Washington, 39, was granted a new public defender in January because of problems with his first lawyer, Susan Flander of Mason City, Iowa. At that time, Washington said Flander handled his case poorly and because of this he would not get a fair trial.

Now, two months later, Washington wrote in letters to Worth County Judge Colleen Weiland that his new public defender, Charles Kenville, from the Fort Dodge office, is treating him unprofessionally. These are Washington’s fourth letters submitted to the judge since Weiland appointed Kenville.

At the end of February, Weiland responded to the first two letters, stating Washington’s complaints were without merit.

In the most recent letter, Washington said he has a right to an effective counselor, and claims he will represent himself if he does not have one.

Washington faces a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Justina Marie Smith, 30, on Aug. 5.

His trial is set to begin June 2.

Weiland in November ordered the case be moved to Fort Dodge because of pretrial publicity.

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