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NewsWednesday, December 3, 2008 7:17 AM CST
Public defender's office wants out of downtown stabbing case

BLOOMINGTON — Three pending murder cases this year have the McLean County public defender’s office asking to be removed from representation of Joshua McGuire.

McGuire, 22, of Normal, is accused in the Nov. 15 stabbing death of Joshua Embry following a fight in the 500 block of North Center Street. A public defender was named to represent McGuire.

In her motion asking that her office be allowed to withdraw from McGuire’s case, McLean County Public Defender Amy Davis said her office “does not have the manpower available to represent effectively the defendant at this time.”

Davis asked that private counsel be named to McGuire’s case.

Attorneys in Davis’ office currently are assisting George Autman, a Bloomington man accused of murder in the death of his 15-month old son, and Dennis McMillian, accused of murder in the stabbing death of Angel Neal.

Jason Marksteiner of LeRoy also is represented by Davis’ office on charges that he sexually assaulted and murdered Jodi McGrew. He also is accused of the intentional homicide of an unborn child.

Davis noted in her motion that the public defender is required to assign two attorneys certified in capital litigation to work on each case where the death penalty is a possibility. The McLean County state’s attorney’s office has not announced a decision on whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty in McGuire’s case.

McGuire is scheduled for a Dec. 19 arraignment. He remains jailed in lieu of posting $100,000 bond.

Embry’s death marked the sixth Twin City homicide this year.

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Reader comments on this story - 15 total

Note: All views and opinions expressed in reader comments are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and not those of the Pantagraph or its staff.

Gov't oppressed Mule wrote on Dec 3, 2008 9:27 AM:

" 6th Twin city homicide this year. But Stockton's right, we don't have a crime rate increase. Must be our imagination. PLEASE PEOPLE REMEMBER THIS AT ELECTION TIME! "

5x5 wrote on Dec 3, 2008 9:17 AM:

" That office has a total of 6 felony attorneys, and I don't know how many are certified to handle capital litigation. Foodlover, would you want your lawyer trying to handle more than one capital case at a time if it were YOUR life on the line? And remember, those attorneys have their capital cases, and then they have their 150 OTHER felony cases that they are trying. No, Amy is smart and savvy, and has shown her integrity by opting out now, rather than than trying to stretch her staff to their limits and still not providing an adequate defense for Mr. McGuire. "

jam1956 wrote on Dec 3, 2008 8:59 AM:

" Regarding this article. I am glad to hear that Amy Davis has opend up and has admitted that the office is to full to take cases right know. Yes i understand that Mcguire is a victim also. But what about chewey, he was a victim also. Right know i have no faith in the system,because they apparently cannot find out the real truth about what hapened that night. "

4mama wrote on Dec 3, 2008 8:44 AM:

" I wonder if the national mc that the victim belonged to had any bearing on the decision that this particular case be the one they decided overloaded the office. It would be totally understandable after reading the court reports cited on the original articles blogs. The national group may not be as civil and law abiding as the local group. "

imho wrote on Dec 3, 2008 8:36 AM:

" I'll tried rewording this since my last post wasn't accepted. Perhaps, the states attorney had some influence in this because it would seem to me that if an overworked or underqualified public defender takes on this case, a conviction would be prime for reversal on appeal for inadequate legal representation. "

Thinking wrote on Dec 3, 2008 8:01 AM:

" Maybe the attorneys who are certified in capital litigation are already working more than one of these cases. How many of the public defender attorneys in McLean county are certified? Did you think about that, Foodlover? "

jerrygarcia1995 wrote on Dec 3, 2008 7:47 AM:

" foodlover, I am assuming you are an attorney as you seem to know exactly what is involved in each case and the time committment? If you are not an attorney, then you would not be qualified......... Seems to me, the ones with the qualifications are the ones making the decision. "

jerrygarcia1995 wrote on Dec 3, 2008 7:46 AM:

" foodlover, please read the entire article. At the bottom, it states that the public defenders office is required to provide two attorney's certified in capital litigation in cases where the death penalty is possible. She is making the right decision to admit this up front. "

foodlover wrote on Dec 3, 2008 6:36 AM:

" to just wait: so are you admitting that the attorneys in that office can't handle more than one murder case for each attorney? sounds like it and that is what I was saying. "

long_time_gone wrote on Dec 3, 2008 6:28 AM:

" Sometimes I read the comments on this site just to have a laugh. I'm with "justwait" and "chaoticworld." I'm glad to hear Amy Davis has enough integrity to admit their office is overloaded. How does being a suspect qualify you as a victim? Please don't comment back--this is just rhetoric. "

In My Opinion wrote on Dec 2, 2008 11:25 PM:

" Let me be his lawyer! An eye for an eye! "

chaoticworld wrote on Dec 2, 2008 10:04 PM:

" how is mcguire a victim too? last i checked people in his predicament 'a suspect'. "

justwait wrote on Dec 2, 2008 8:24 PM:

" foodlover, you really have no clue what you are talking about do you? Think about it, if you as a public defender feel that you can not give adequate representation due to case load, then be honest and say it. That is exactly what has happened here and I commend Amy Davis for her honesty and integrity. I am only guessing here but I would imagine that if you were to look at the public defenders budget compared to the states attorneys you would laugh at the disparity. "

grneydgrl wrote on Dec 2, 2008 7:47 PM:

" It is sad the victim on both sides, josh mcquire IS A VICTIM TOO. i have no faith in the justice system to find out what really happened.. "

foodlover wrote on Dec 2, 2008 7:43 PM:

" attorneys in other counties handle several murder cases at a time..... are the attorneys in this county so poorly trained that they cannot handle two murders at the same time? "

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