Representation issues slow case of plot to kill deputy
WARRENTON — Jeremiah Royster, one of two men accused of a murder plot against a Warren County deputy, is not easily finding court-appointed legal representation.
According to motion documents filed this week, a second attorney is requesting to be excused from the case. Mike Burnette cited his caseload in Granville County and this week obtained a continuance of a Sept. 4 scheduled hearing.
He will present his motion for dismissal from representing Royster at a Sept. 11 hearing.
Burnette was out of state when appointed and not consulted on availability. According to Burnette, he picks up a high volume of cases each month in Granville County, Royster’s case is complex and serious and representing Royster would constitute ineffective representation of counsel.
Earlier, Nick Bagshawe was relieved of representing Royster due to a personal relationship with Terry Williams, the detective sergeant from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office named in documents as the target of the plot.
Edwin Wilson, a 39-year-old co-defendant, is being represented by Allen Gardner Jr. He’s the second appointed counsel. Attorney Michael Rogers obtained an order signed by Warren County District Court Judge Amanda Stevenson Aug. 14 removing him as Wilson’s attorney.
Royster faces charges of conspiring with Wilson to kill Williams and destroying a photo of Williams that was evidence of the plot. Wilson is charged with soliciting Royster to commit first-degree murder.
Royster, 39, of 7988 U.S. 39 North in Henderson, served two decades for a May 28, 1991, murder. The sentence was altered from life terms to time served in October 2011 so he could be released, according to state prison records.
Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams, no relation to Terry Williams, said a tip led law enforcement agencies to identify and locate Royster,
State Bureau of Investigation Agent Stephen O’Neal filed the warrants for arrest against Royster and Wilson.
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