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Murder suspect won't get new lawyer
By CHRIS COLLINS
A judge has decided that murder suspect Daniel Myers will not get a new lawyer.
Myers, who is accused of killing Travis Weems near Sumpter almost a year ago, had asked the court to appoint a different attorney to represent him at trial.
Myers, 55, told Judge Greg Baxter Thursday that he is not satisfied with the representation he has received from Mark Rader, an Ontario attorney.
Baxter notified Myers by letter late Friday that he had denied Myers’ request to replace Rader, said Matt Shirtcliff, Baker County District Attorney.
Myers has been held at the Baker County Jail since Jan. 27, 2011. He is charged with murder, unlawful use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful delivery and possession of methamphetamine.
Myers is accused of shooting the 39-year-old Weems of Hermiston, a former Baker County resident, outside Myers’ home on Cracker Creek Road on Jan. 27.
The shooting was reported to the Baker County Consolidated Dispatch Center at 3:10 that morning. Sumpter emergency responders found Weems’ body a few minutes later in a car parked at the Elkhorn Saloon in downtown Sumpter.
District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said it appeared that a friend drove Weems into Sumpter seeking help after he was shot.
In a hearing Thursday in Baker County Circuit Court, Myers told Baxter that he was dissatisfied with Rader because he did not call witnesses to refute information presented by the state during a Dec. 20 hearing on a motion to suppress evidence gathered in the investigation.
Sr. Judge Eric Valentine of La Grande, a retired Union County Circuit Court judge, heard arguments on the motion to suppress evidence, but has not issued a ruling.
On Thursday, Baxter acknowledged receipt of two letters written Wednesday by Myers. One was addressed to Baxter and the other to Valentine.
Valentine will rule on whether to grant another hearing on the motion to suppress, Baxter said.
Baxter told Myers that it will be up to the court to decide whether Rader is taken off the case.
“It’s not your choice of whether he gets fired or not,” Baxter said.
The judge noted that Myers’ trial, set for Feb. 21 through March 2, would be delayed by at least six months if a new attorney were to be appointed.
Motions considered by Baxter Thursday are among a series of motions filed as the case progresses toward trial, Shirtcliff said Friday.