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Public Defender

Gazette opinion: Life in prison for serial rapist

Gazette opinion: Life in prison for serial rapist

Justice was served in Yellowstone County District Court Monday when 12 jurors unanimously agreed that Toby Eugene Griego is guilty on all 27 felony counts stemming brutal attacks on four Billings women.

April 16, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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California fugitive charged with assaulting public defender

California fugitive charged with assaulting public defender

Prosecutors on Thursday filed a felony assault charge against a California fugitive accused of attacking his public defender during a Jan. 21 extradition hearing.

January 30, 2014 2:15 pmLoading…
California fugitive attacks public defender during Billings court appearance

California fugitive attacks public defender during Billings court appearance

A man who is wanted in California hit the public defender representing him during a Billings court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

January 21, 2014 3:57 pmLoading…
Lawyer returns to client, asks for mental exam

Lawyer returns to client, asks for mental exam

CASPER, Wyo. — Zacharia Johnson made one request at his last court appearance: Find me a different attorney.

July 25, 2013 5:53 pmLoading…

Guest opinion: 50 years after Gideon, public defense promise unfulfilled

Clarence Gideon was convicted of burglarizing a Florida bar and sentenced to five years in prison based solely on the testimony of one questionable eyewitness. But Gideon’s side didn’t adequately challenge that eyewitness at trial. You see, Gideon handled his own defense. When he requested a…

March 17, 2013 12:05 amLoading…

Gazette opinion: Justice shortchanged with underpaid defenders

America’s justice system guarantees effective representation to all defendants accused of crimes carrying possible incarceration penalties. The system only works when both prosecution and defense attorneys are competent and can devote sufficient times to their crucial roles.

February 11, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

High turnover plagues public defender's office

HELENA — Public attorneys tasked with defending high-profile criminal cases are among the lowest paid in state government, prompting many of them to take jobs as staff attorneys in state agencies and elsewhere, the Office of the Public Defender told lawmakers Wednesday.

February 06, 2013 1:32 pmLoading…
Family friend of Leachman vouches for breeder's character, knowledge

Family friend of Leachman vouches for breeder's character, knowledge

When Curt Rodger heard that Billings livestock breeder James Leachman was charged with abusing horses, the Missouri cattleman said he was so shocked that he volunteered to fly to Montana to be a character witness at his trial.

November 29, 2012 11:51 am Photos

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Leg bands not humane for horses, expert testifies

Leg bands not humane for horses, expert testifies

A nationally recognized horse specialist testified Wednesday at James Leachman’s animal abuse trial that unbreakable plastic identification bands should not be used on horses, especially those running loose on the range.

November 28, 2012 1:15 pm Photos

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Casper judge denies request to replace public defender

CASPER, Wyo. -- Robert Broyles is left with three choices. His original two -- filing charges against the man officials say he tried to kill, and then obtaining a new public defender -- didn’t pan out.

November 16, 2012 11:30 pmLoading…

Lawyer sues Wyoming state public defender over firing

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A Cheyenne lawyer claims that Wyoming State Public Defender Diane Lozano terminated him because he ended a relationship with her years before.

September 25, 2012 12:38 pmLoading…

Public defender pay lags behind other state lawyers

HELENA — Attorneys who get their first job out of college with the state generally start at $40,000 a year, but if you’re in the Office of the Public Defender, the chance to increase your pay with experience is less than those of other government lawyers, a survey of salaries showed last year.

October 21, 2011 4:43 pmLoading…

National search planned for Montana’s new chief public defender

HELENA — The state’s public defender system will conduct a nationwide search for a new chief public defender, enlisting the help of national groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the chair of the commission overseeing the system said Monday.

October 03, 2011 5:13 pmLoading…

Public defenders commissioner resigns, rips chief

HELENA — Missoula attorney James Park Taylor has resigned from his position on the Montana Public Defender Commission, citing various inadequacies within the institution and expressing little hope for change under its current leadership.

January 11, 2011 5:47 pmLoading…
Defender system falling short

Defender system falling short

HELENA — Retired Helena Justice of the Peace Wally Jewell is not the only person to raise concerns about Montana’s four-year-old Office of the State Public Defender, but his critiques are among the most biting.

July 31, 2010 11:55 pm Photos

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