LIMA — A Lima man facing charges of kidnapping and abduction for allegedly threatening his domestic partner and holding her against his will has successfully replaced his court-appointed lawyer.
John Russell, 44, appeared before Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffery Reed on Friday and asked the judge to appoint a new attorney to represent him.
Jerry Doute, who served as Russell’s lawyer in earlier proceedings, filed a motion with the court earlier this month to withdraw as legal counsel in the case. Doute told Reed that communication between he and the defendant had broken down to the point that continued legal representation was impossible.
“According to my client, I’m borderline incompetent,” Doute told Reed.
Russell told the judge, “I asked (Doute) to do things and he wouldn’t do it. It ain’t right.”
Reed said he would appoint a new attorney for Russell “as soon as possible” but for the time being left unchanged a Feb. 5 scheduled date for Russell’s jury trial.
Russell was indicted in May by a grand jury on charges of kidnapping, a first-degree felony; abduction, a felony of the third degree; and domestic violence, also a third-degree felony.
Court documents show that police were called on April 17 to an apartment on Mound Street in reference to a domestic violence dispute. The alleged victim in the incident, Kimberly Warren, told police that she and Russell got into an argument the previous evening at 269 S. Roberts St., Lima. Warren said the argument became physical when Russell punched her in the face, slapped her several times with his cell phone, pushed her into the bathtub and held a knife over her while making threats to kill her.
Warren also told police that Russell would not allow her to leave the residence. On the morning of April 17, according to court records, the woman received a text from her mother to come and pick up her grandson. Warren talked Russell into driving her to 1808 Mound St. to pick up her grandson and, upon their arrival, Warren’s mother noticed the physical injuries on her daughter and called police, who subsequently arrested Russell.