Judge deciding who will represent suspect accused of killing Huntsville police officer

It's unknown if he will be represented by his court appointed attorneys or retained attorneys.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 6:39 PM

WAAY 31 obtained court documents showing LaJeromeny Brown’s hired attorney will only represent him through a few hearings.

Brown is charged in the murder of officer Billy Clardy III, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Friday.

Separately, a Madison County Judge appointed two Huntsville attorneys to represent Brown.

Attorney Bruce Gardner said he and his appointed co-counsel met the judge on the case in his chambers Wednesday afternoon to discuss who will represent Brown.

"They want this all done by law. They want Mr. Brown to have the best council he can get. The best trial he can get. I know they want all of that," Gardner said.

Gardner said a judge in Madison County called him this week and requested he act as Brown’s court-appointed attorney. A capital murder trial is normally very expensive, and Gardner said it can cost more $250,000.

Court documents filed Wednesday show Brown’s family hired two other attorneys to represent him through the preliminary hearing. It’s not clear why they’re only hired for part of the case. Gardner thinks it’s a bad idea.

"In my opinion we shouldn't allow limited entries of appearances in capital cases because you need to hit the ground running from the day you get the case," he said.

Gardner said it’s highly unusual for different attorneys to handle different parts of the case especially when it’s capital murder. He also knows some people may scoff at the idea of representing a suspected cop killer, but Gardner said it’s important to remember everyone gets a fair trial.

"It's difficult undertaking a representation of someone charged with this, but I think i have found in the past that the people who understand my role the most are the police officers themselves," he said. "This is a tragic event regardless of whether Mr. Brown is ever convicted, punished and sentenced whether he gets the death penalty or not. I’m mindful of that and the whole thing is a tragedy."

Right now, WAAY 31 is still working to find out who will represent Brown. Gardner said he expects a preliminary hearing date to be set in the next few weeks.

This wouldn't be the first time Gardner's represented a suspect accused of killing a police officer. He was on the team that represented Benito Albarran. He was convicted in the 2005 shooting death of Huntsville Police Officer Daniel Golden. Albarran hung himself in 2015 while on death row.

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